Monday, 2 August 2010

Izzy Dunn - Cries And Smiles - 2010 - Idunnit Music

This forthcoming album for mid August contains some real sparkling gems and - possibly - one of THE best songs ogf 2010 thusfar! For those unfamiliar with this lady, Izzy Dunn is a vocalist, Cellist and producer and you may - if you're taste is wider than mine - know her from her work with Pop / Dance artists Roots Manuva, the Gorrillaz and UK popstar Beverly Knight as well as more soulful artists such as Soul II Soul and 4Hero. Her talents turn to herself here, and so Izzy creates a set that cannot be ignored, overlooked or unpurchased! As a cellist it is screamingly obvious that Izzy understands Classical composition and as such much of the album features some great orchestration that would even make Larry Gold proud. The album, though, does in a few places try to appease the more younger listener - something I don't think necessary when this Lady has more talent than the likes of those the whiskerless youth idolise. Why, anyway, do our artists have to pander to that brigade anyway? Do they pander to us? Of course not, and neither should they. They'll be climbing on the next bandwagon soon. If you wait, another one will be along in a minute. There always is. The likes of Izzy Dunn is beyond this and if proof be needed check out the following tunes. Izzy is not only all of the above but she is also a lyricist and her thoughtful, textured and immaculate lyrics are rather embracing.

"Nothing But Love" rates as one of THE tracks of the moment...real instrumentation, bass guitar, strings and piano and a mighty fine soulful vocal from Izzy Dunn. This is timeless material and a track that I play and play and play again. I can't get enough of this. I sincerely hope that this song gets serious airplay on radio over and above the more ephemeral, urban tinged efforts. I adored the opening strings of "Loser", but the addition of Booty Brown from rap outfit Pharcyde is like buying a nice packet of crisps and finding a clipped toenail inside. I'm sure he is a very nice chap and all that, but not on this album, please. It's about time quality artists kept this sort of thing at arm's length. Let's have the Pimms on the lawn and not the cheap Cider and ASBO. I expected "Gangster Bitch" to be a foray into unpleasant territory but this is, in fact a great slice of funky '70s Blaxpoitation themed instrumental. You will, therfore love this! I also think that "All Good Things" is an essential cut that has so much brilliance brimming from it. Rarely do we get such sophisticated orchestral textures within our music and Izzy Dunn plies us with this in great measure. Fans of a gritty neuvo-60s sound will immediately like "Save Me" and this could appeal to those who find the likes of Macy Gray, Amy Whine House and Duffy. Izzy certainly has the abilities to cross many boundaries and bridges, and this is always a good thing as long it's not an appeasement or sellout as many are inclined to do today. What is certain is that some tracks on here CANNOT be considered fop to that sort of crowd and as such they shine so brightly and on the strength of "Nothing But Love" would I recommend the set anyway. Total joy, beauty and class. ESSENTIAL.

Barry Towler
The Vibe Scribe