Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Athene Wilson - It's About Time - 2010 - 12th Note

Yes, folks! The first CD released with 2010 on it and a few weeks early! Time, as they oft say, is relative and so is my patience but that's another matter! Athene Wilson is another new talent to spring to the forefront on the quality soul scene and sure starts 2010 off on a really good note. This is not a kiddies' RnB album. It has a definitive adult feel and would not be out of place with quality releases from the late 80s. A recent comparison would have to be Brenda Hillman's "Paper Boat" - a sure shot candidate for an Expansion release i would have thought. The opening track is superbly chilled, relaxed and soulful. The chilled piano - Steinway Grand if I'm not mistaken - and the sax gel wonderfully with Athene's robust and mature vocal approach. "We Were Meant To Be" is a great song and as far as I am concerned worthy enough on it's own merit of a purchase for this alone. The flute on the bubbly "Someone Like You" and the wah wah guitar are pleasant enough, and I have to skip her version of "If Only You Knew" not because it's bad or incompetent - it's simply that it's one of my favourite songs and I cannot hear anyone else doing this bar Patti Labelle.

Better still is "Keep On Stepping" - cashing in on the stepping craze that still appears to grip the States out of Chicago. Why not? There are much worse things out there? If anyone mentions line dancing then I suspect that they'd be very right indeed! LOL. Any road up, skipping the odd Reggae inclusion I have to highlight the SUPERB "Time" interlude and quality "Fire Flies". Very strong inclusions and definitely strong points that shine from this particular set. Stronger still is the brilliant "Rainy Days" - a sure fire radio friendly song that really ought to raise some interest here in the UK on quality radio; a Juggernaut beat and bubbling over with layers of synth and percussion, this is an excellent vehicle for the mighty voice that Athene possesses. Nice to hear decent thunderstorm effects in a track too...get this fundamental sound wrong and the whole track can be brought down. You are also in for a serious treat with "I Want To Be Where You Are" which features male vocalist Dae Beal. This is NOT a cover of the great Leon / Marvin track but a spanking new song. Classy, quality and very much in the quiet storm mode, this song is essential. Dae has elements of John Legend within his range, and what also adds weight to this track being great is the use of 80s styled keyboards. Very nice indeed. A worthy effort from a worthy new name. 2010 here we come!

Barry Towler
The Vibe Scribe