Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Jimetta Rose - The Barber's Daughter - 2010

I suspect that if you like recent albums from N'Dambi, Ledisi (well, not the latest effort anyway which was, frankly, appalling) and suchlike then Jimetta Rose is going to really tick all your boxes. Jimetta Rose dedicates this CD to her father, hence the title, and her style is sassy, soulful and savvy. The tunes themselves are a wonderful amalgam of traditional sensibilities with funkier, chunkier urban styles - yet not urban in the crassest, major label sense. The set verges from modern R'n'B to gospel and her style definitely pays homage to the greats such as Chaka Khan, and more recent artists such as Mary J Blige and Amy Winehouse. Normally, the latter two would have me doing a Lee Scratch Perry and running to the hills, but oddly enough the music and the classic qualities more than override the letter references. Interesting, too, are some of the arrangements. On "Glory Us" there is a real phat Zapp / Stevie Wonder style groove - it then sounds quite discordant on first listen, and even - to my addled brain at any rate - the sound of horses hooves have been added. Subsequent listens have re-attuned my ears to this and I find this really interesting and challenging in a positive way!

"Sweet Necessity" really has pulling power, the juggly beat and dreamy beat is supported by a beat that reminds me of Willie Hutch's "You Oughta Be With Me". Now this I do like! The melody is, again, something to behold yet Jimetta sits within this soundscape, vocally cool and poised. "Revolution Out There" is a lot more immediate and more accessible. The jazzy, compact flavour works well and flows nicely into edgier tracks such as the righteous Hip-Hop flavoured "America (Revisited)", which gets into Erykah Badu-type territory but with far less irritating vocals. The ethereal "Drifting Far Away" also impresses as does the socially conscious "I Got God". For me, though, the real show-stopper is the SUPERB and deeply atmospheric "So Easy" which utilises the sort of deep, rich and funky basslines we would have expected in the 1985 period - think Sugarfoot, Zapp, Frederick, Human Body etc - and the flute and keys add immense power to this jam. Jimetta adds a real jazzy inflection to her style too. I find this song giving me real chills and even if harder, urban flavours are not your bag then I think that you will love this song. I heartily recommend it for this and this alone! Worth checking out!

Barry Towler
The Vibe Scribe