Release Date: 09.24.02
Record label: Universal
Genre(s): Rap, Hip-Hop, R&B, etc.
Voyage to Nowhere
by: carmela wiese
In the last few years, a new genre has emerged bringing musicians such as Macy Gray, Erykah Badu, D'Angelo, and perhaps even Lauryn Hill into the spotlight. Dubbed NeoSoul, it brings together elements of passionate, almost lustful vocals, stripped down acoustic sound, and bluesy flavor. Joining her list of predecessors, India.Arie contributes her new album Voyage To India to the growing scene.
Voyage, Arie's follow-up to her debut Acoustic Soul, is a balance of her trademarked acoustic guitar that compliments her husky, soulful voice and produced beats that add a hip-hop essence. Although done well, the added beats produced in the studio, seemingly distract from the nature of Arie's music rather than accentuating it.
This is proven in the track "Talk To Her". The song, which is a word of advice to men over the world about how to respect the women in their lives by being honest and expressing themselves, masks snips of her guitar with over-produced resonance.
There are, on the other hand, tracks that showcase the full extent of Arie's talent. In addition to the striking intro ("The only thing constant in the world is change/That's why I take life as it comes"), "Beautiful Surprise" lives up to it's title. Perhaps one of the purist songs on the album, "Beautiful..." perfectly blends her vocal talent, soft guitar strumming and gentle drum beats. Other highpoints include "The Truth" (about a love affair with her equal), "Can I Walk With You" (asking to be involved with a special someone), and "Good Man" (a ballad about loosing the man in one's life).
Still, a few good tracks do not an excellent album make. And Voyage is ample proof. While Acoustic Soul sparked a large interest in Arie, Voyage to India doesn't do much to fan the flames. 30-Oct-2002 2:25 PM