SongVault Artist Profile
Wisconsin, United States
This has to be one of the best sets to come out of the excellent Da Soul stable. This lovely Lady has a fantastic voice that is smooth and velvety, and when added to the style of creativity that belongs to producers J and Chazz Dixon we have a set that is tighter than the clasp of a Scotsmanís purse. "Carmen" as an album jogs away at an extremely jaunty pace and one can read enough beneath the grooves that Carmen was actually having a whale of a time putting this set together. This Lady should blossom well within this label, and if this album is her foundation then it really is a strong one.
Some of the grooves have an 80s Indie feel to them, and I love this as it whisks me back to the days of 12"s from Choice Reunion and David Beck. The opening song, for instance is called "Thatís A Good Thing", and the feeling for me is Midnight Star meets Muscle Shoals. The unmistakable Chazz Dixon adds his vocal skills, and J is ever present on the mix. "I Wonder" is a more uptempo funkier piece, the spaced out synth and bombastic hi hat drum beat do well with Carmenís, fresh, summery spangly guitar in support. Carmen handles this sort of groove very nicely indeed, thank you very much, but she excels on the excellent "Different Time, Different Place" which has an 80s summertime ebb and flow with a dash of Isleys for good measure. I simply adore the fender keys that underscore the clapping beat and flutework that pops up 3 minutes in, acting as an irresistible bridge to some dreamy guitar and vocal work from Carmen.
The melody to "Time For You To Go" is altogether pleasing and is designed to suit Carmen perfectly. Carmen hits a sassier, jazzier note on the beaty "Miss You Like Crazy" and adds another dimension to her singing. "Too Good For You" serves as a warning to complacent males out there in a relationship Ė that probably translates as 99.9 percent of all men, but there you go! Carmen reminds us menfolk should get more involved and stop neglecting our women folk. I suppose I had better wash up tonight then L . "I See The Light" is a cool groove as you could wish for and is more romantic than the poor situation described in the previous song. The backing vocals on this song really are lovely and are attributable to the excellent Gary Brown (his "2" album review coming soon.) "Senseless" is a bouncy tune with plenty of cymbal work with some sexy smooth vocals to boot. Chazz Dixon has, as we know, had an excellent and original take on many a Motown tune from his own albums, and he works his magic on Smokeyís "Iíll Try Something New" which is a very fine duet.
As far as debut albums go this is worthwhile and CD Baby is the place to check it out. The first of many albums, one hopes. - Barry Towler