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Soul Express CD Review


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LORI DOW
Love Changes
US Lori Dow Music, 2008

1) Patience 2) Love No Limit 3) I Love the Way (feat. Omega Red) 4) Heaven Only Knows 5) He Love Me (feat. Omekongo Dibinga) 6) Can't Nobody 7) Make Time 8) Love Again 9) Until I Found You 10) Love Changes 11) He Loves Me (Reprise) 12) Dear Lord (feat. Montez Cardwell)

This is in fact Lori's second album and, for me, contains no less than EIGHT barn-storming tracks, and that's a lot more than most albums can boast about these days. This classy Lady and her fine musicians bring together a collection of enchanting songs that are jazzy, soulful and tips it's hat slightly to the urban side of the town. Lori Dow is a majestic singer with a smooth yet vigorous style and can keep up with the best – and classiest - of them. We have no whining R&B artist in the mould of Mary J. Blige etc. here! Lori is a woman of style, substance, elegance and sass! How about that for a set of ingredients? Besides, take a listen to the music. It speaks for itself. Just head over to www.soulchoonz.com and take a listen – you don't need the likes of me or anyone else to try and convince you this is an essential purchase!

I will kick-start my list of choices with the superb sax-oriented jazzy number, “Love No Limit” which is, of course a FAR superior version to the original effort by Mary J. Blige. The wah-wah guitar is subtle, snuck away under a sensual bassline, vibes and flute. So classy, and proves the quality that this Lady is made of. The following song, “I Love The Way”, is a stark contrast; a modern street number featuring a rap from Omega Red. Do not skip this – the beats may well be Hip Hop orientated, but the funky bassline, flute and warm fender rhodes make this a funky, buoyant, affair and as such much more than the drivel you'll be familiar with from the major labels..

The flow returns to a more soulful format with “Heaven Only Knows” - not the Teddy Pendergrass classic - with plenty of layers, and is pleasing to my ears in great measure. I am particularly tuned into the wonderful “Can't Nobody” which has some nice twangy guitar and horns giving it a home-grown '70s flavour! The KILLER cut for me is the deliciously constructed “Make Time” - this gives me chills. The beats may be programmed BUT there are some dreamy, atmospheric Dexter Wansel-type keys on here which hark back to his epic “Life On Mars” set from 1976. Please check this track out – the keys are to die for, let alone the horns!

These particular keys also return on the compelling “Until I Found You”. It's a classy, jazzy affair with shades of Will Downing and Ronnie Foster, complete with (I think!) a Steinway Grand Piano a la Bob James. DELICIOUS! The jazzy and socially mindful “Love Changes” relates to love in a universal / holistic context. I was reminded of the style adopted by Sheree Brown on her recent “'83” set on this one. My final pick is the worshipful “Dear Lord”. This is another stylish, classy composition which adds credibility to an already seriously strong album. This is, for me, one of THE albums of the moment - and we have a lot of great albums to choose from too!
- Barry Towler

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