Friday, 22 May 2009

Tamika Nicole - The Art Of Letting Go - 2009 - Tamika Nicole-Clark

A fresh new name for 2009 and a CD that will be one that will be on your wants list. Of that I have no doubt. This Lady has an amazing vocal and along with producer Jamie Hawkins - an underground hero - offer us a CD of scintillating soulful, funky and sassy female soul music. It is sexy, seductive, edgy and smooth with a roughness. What is achieved here is the sass and fire of a strong woman without the juvenile swagger and bravado that marks apart the REAL soul songstress from the dearth of contemporary teen ladettes who think they are 'telling it like it is'. Far from it. The album of the CD says it all. Here is a Lady who has experienced life - and is savvy and mature enough to acknowledge, accept, deal and...let go. Artists like this beg our attention. Tracks such as "Down" are tough, constrained by a funky moog, a purposeful strident beat and rough edge. No need for a guest rapper, no posturing, but a gritty, real performance and a musical bouquet akin to Tuomo in a pensive mood. Excellent.

Contrast this to the slinkier, more smooth and jazzy "Enough". The chilled atmosphere, the sax and a soaring, lighter approach define Tamika as a singer who can turn her vocal abilities to any form of groove. The strings add sweetness and her vocalising is natural and not stepped such as Mary J. Blige, and I hear echoes of Jean Carn in her phrasing if not in pitch and tone. The inspirational cut "All I Need" is excellent - the tune is very more-ish, and a real hilight of the CD. We even get jazzier and bluesier with "Too Bad For You" and "So Much More" - this really highlights the exceptionally wide spectrum of style and ability this Lady can ply herself to. How many of the young R&B squeakers could even scratch this Lady's talent??? The CD benefits from 2 remixes - one being superb! "Get It Right" is excellent and very addictive, and it's also very warming to see her 2001 cut "Chocolate Caramel Brown" included. Like a Cameo groove with Chaka Khan dropping by for good measure, this is a choooon! Well worth checking out on CD Baby!

Barry Towler
The Vibe Scribe

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