Monday, 11 January 2010

Bashiyra - Thought You Knew - 2009 - Bashiyra

Yet again the UK comes up with a real soul talent, leaving our once more trusted US cousins trailing in the dirt. If you tuned in to Gary Spence on the Soulchoonz radio show in December then you would have heard this Lady and her excellent "Don't Get In My Face". Well, if you liked that song then there are at least five more songs for you to enjoy that are in a similar vein. For me the rest of the CD appeals to a younger audience, and the tail end of the set would appeal to more hip, trendy, young things than myself and take a dance approach. Not my cup of tea, but the following choices are more than satisfying. I start my list of choices with the SUPERB head-nodding "Immaculate" which is an irresistible groove in the same musical vein as anything on the Soulpersona album, Jonah or Steve Wallace sets. On this number there is much to entice in the traditional soul fan. The vocals really are superb. Bashiyra is no weakling, squeaker or whiner. A full-bodied vocal performance laced with the nuance of someone very much like Chanté Moore.

"U, Me" compliments this groove greatly. This song has texture, yet it is, compared to many traditional soul songs, quite sparse. The quirky guitar throughout this piece makes "U, Me" have real atmosphere. The classy vocals merely are the icing on the cake. For those of you who liked the 90s sounds of, say, Souled Out or Lisa Stansfield then "Mistified" will really appeal to you. Indeed, this Lady has got that Sarah Warwick kind of appeal and as a singer can really deliver strongly on various styles. If, like me you consider the more traditional approach to melody and structure more appealing then may I suggest the mouth-watering duet with S. Murray called "Love Jones". S. Murray has a fantastic voice - clear, concise, smooth and perfectly pitched against Bashiyra's talents. The pair interplay perfectly and the sexy rolling bassline and subtle undercurrent synth are sublime. This, I could imagine appearing on one of the Soul'd Together compilations that slipped out and disappeared without a trace in the early 90s. With Bashiyra we have a real talent and I am proud to wave a soulful British flag for this lovely Lady.

Barry Towler
The Vibe Scribe