Thursday, 5 February 2009

Ebony Evans - Luv's Fire - Coastal Records

Atlanta-based chanteuse Ebony Evans is a new kid on the R&B block but with a bit of luck, a few bob behind her, and a some good breaks she could soon become a “name”. This debut 14 tracker is a thoroughly decent slab of modern pop/R&B with a soul undertow. The songs (all originals) tell the usual tales of teenage love and all its accompanying bewilderment, anguish and joys. There’s nothing complicated or dramatic here – it’s not that kind of album. Ebony and her mentors know their market and have gone straight for it. Indeed when they do try to be too clever it doesn't seem to work. For instance the cod Caribbean skanking on ‘Letcha Self Go’ is at odds with the rest of the set, while ‘Turning On The Love You Need’ is just too tricky for its own good. But they’re the only two glaring debits. For the rest the , the title cut (the lead single) by the way has a great retro soul feel to it – its changes and tempo remind me of ‘Boogie Wonderland’ ,though its actually very different. ‘Loving You Is All I Wanna Do’ is a sweet little floater with a lovely hook to it; while ‘Do Ya Wanna’ is almost funky. In fairness the album, like a lot of its kind, suffers from the budgetary production restraints that small indie labels have to contend with, but what holds this set together is Ebony’s pleasing vocal. Light and airy, in places I’m reminded of a young Deniece Williams - even Kelly Rowland, though I’d have liked to have heard Ebony on a big soul cover before fully making up my mind.

Bill Buckley

Buy on CD-Baby