OLETA ADAMS Let's Stay Here
US E1 Music/Koch CD, 2009
1) Feelin' Good 4:53
2) Picture You The Way That I Do 4:39
3) We Can't Stay Here 5:36
4) No Way To Love Me 5:59
5) Another Day Has Come And Gone 5:05
6) Best That I Can Do 4:29
7) Let's Stay Here 5:41
8) Don't Explain 5:35
9) Yesterday 5:08
10) Act Of Forgiveness 7:29
Now this is the kind of soul music I prefer Oleta Adams to sing! Oleta
has been one of my favourite female singers in last two decades, but the material
she has recently recorded has varied from gospel, pop and dance music to
Christmas songs, and she hasn't had a decent chance to show off what kind of
a brilliant soul vocalist she really is. Her guest performance on smooth jazz
artist Al Turner's album, an absolutely brilliant track titled Your Will
demonstrated that given the right kind of material, Oleta easily creates vintage soul,
and now she finally has released a whole album of classy, mellow soul music.
On this album, Oleta offers an Anita Baker-ish mellow ballad and mid-tempo
setting, often flavoured by saxophone, trumpet and acoustic piano, and she
sings mainly self-written songs. These include a couple of real gems, and the
overall level is sky-high. Actually the only cover tunes are the opening track,
a version of Nina Simone's recording Feelin' Good, and the Billie
Holiday classic Don't Explain - which also perfectly describe the
atmosphere of this album.
Both cover tunes are very admirable, and the Nina Simone reading is highlighted
by a smoky saxophone solo, but I personally still prefer the original tunes.
We Can't Stay Here is a velvety, sax-drenched ballad and although I've
read lots of negative comments on the Web of Oleta singing "only quiet storm after
quiet storm" on this album, I really think this is the kind of music I want
to listen from Oleta - not the pop covers and dance material every one else
seems to wish her to sing!
So, if you, like yours truly, prefer a timeless jazz/soul setting instead of
trendy upbeat or R&B sounds, go and listen to the tracks like the aforementioned
We Can't Stay Here, the cool trumpet-flavoured Another Day Has
Come and Gone, and the ageless sax-laced ballad Act of Forgiveness.
However, the absolute personal favourite on the album is the title track
Let's Stay Here. It contains lyrics like "sipping mojitos and listening
to Miles", which suits the late-night mood the song creates with its
smooth percussive rhythm and Baker-ish acoustic piano (played by Oleta herself).
Quality Time written all over it! - Ismo Tenkanen