Nothin' but the blues, in all its incarnations
The first thing to know: Shakura S’Aida can sing. The second thing: she has great taste in guitarists. Scratchy, down ‘n’ dirty Donna Grantis lends just the right level of spit and grit to such stompers as “Mr. Right” and “Brown Sugar”, while the cover of Betty Davis’s “Anti-Love Song” sacrifices a trifle of the original’s stuttering funk in favor of a looser, loping swagger propelled by Grantis’ guitar and Rick Steff’s fluid keyoards. It helps that Shakura can actually carry a tune, too. In a perfect world, Shakura would have a huge breakout hit with this solid release. If she doesn’t, it won’t be the fault of the songs, which alternate between such barn-burners as “Sweet Spot”, softer numbers like “Angels on High”, and the deep blues of “Gonna Tell My Baby” and “This Is Not a Love Song”. Shakura’s voice just might be the sound of the blues in the 21st century.
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