Friday, 5 November 2010

Rena Scott - Take Me Away - 2010 - Amor Records

The evergreen rena Scott has waited over 5 years to deliver this, her new album, but every moment has been worth the wait. I would say that for me at any rate, this rates as her best, most dependable, solid and consistent set in YEARS. To be fair, I don't think any track is going to disappoint you and that said i do have my favourites on here - and these are manifold. Rena Scott's instantly recognisable vocals are deployed heavily here in wonderful unison with some seriously sexy, chilled and sublimely soulful arrangements. Like other great female vocalists such as Susaye Green, her voice improves with age and hearing her expert pipes atop haunting and sensuous efforts such as the opening song, "Each Day Is Better". The swishing beat, the haunting synths and cool keys are droolsome and I could imagine fans of Susaye Green's recent work with Portrait's Michael Saulsberry. Loathed as I am to confront cover versions, Rena works magic on the Emotions' "Don't Ask My Neighbors" and Maze's "Joy And Pain", making these haunting, refreshing and flavoursome songs fit in perfectly with the flow of the new material.

Following the lovely, smiley rendition of "Joy And pain" we have a KILLER song dedicated to Rena's beautiful daughter, Nina who shares vocal duties. This is the prize possession of this album as far as I am concerned and it's one of those beautiful songs that is warm, touching and celebratory yet not at all sickly, schmaltzy or sugary. having played this song over and over again it is certainly one of my favourite songs of the moment. "It's So Wrong" is a dramatic number with real verve and comes at with a classic Gladys Knight delivery. I could easily imagine Gladys delivering this song, but don't get me wrong...rena is more than up to the plate on this one. I'm already very ensconced ibn the set by this point and being a fan of sax was very buoyed by the inclusion of said instrument in "Something I Wanna Say". Add the sexy rhythm and synths to this then we've got a real doozy on our hands here. For a great uptempo number please head over to track 11, "I Don't Wanna Wait" - it's a great number on it's own and yet I can imagine a remix with a more prominent and strident bassline - throw is a a little sax and a few strings this could be a very strong modern dancefloor / House number. Rena's vocals are perfect with depth, sensitivity and passion as well as gusto to bring something like this about. All told a great, great album and well no self-respecting soulful household should be without it.

Barry Towler
The Vibe Scribe.