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Soul Express Album Review


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YOLANDA JOHNSON:
Violet Flower

US Meta Music, 2006
1) Fly… Shine 2) Keep It Moving 3) Individual 4) Get 2 Know U 5) Doing Dirty 6) Running 7) Change 8) Violet Flower

CD Baby and iTunes keeps giving us some great stuff, and this 8 tracker from this Lady who is no less than the daughter of 70s soulster Samuel Jonathan Johnson, and who is also a cousin of the Wilson Brothers! Yolanda’s pedigree is certainly not in doubt. Her album falls into the ‘neo soul’ bag and very nice it is too. Some tracks are stronger than others , but all are worthy of play. The opening cut is chunky, heavy and carries an ethereal synth with it too – I can see radio getting a lot from this track. If you liked tracks such as "Oooh" and "Everbody Up" by Jahah a few years back then you will appreciate this.

The Hammond organ and sultry 70s vibe freshen up proceedings with "Keep It Moving". Lovers of Erykah Badu would find something in this to appreciate, though I must admit that Yolanda Johnson is a stronger if not more adult vocalist. The style of Marva King’s latest effort springs to mind with the fruity and tappy urban number "Individual" and is also a bouncy number. Sounds good in the jolly old car! However, I am far more at home with the gorgeous beat ballad "Get 2 Know U". I cannot stop playing this track…it is sensuous, alluring and very sexy. Slow grinders should get what they want out of this track! I really don’t think anyone will be disappointed with this track at the very least.

"Doing Dirty" sounded interesting for a song, and I was impressed with the flute and sheer 80s-ness of it. Not too sure about the telephone argument, though! A second jewel for me is the wholesome number "Running" which is just screaming for quality radio attention! Check this track out, too. My third star pick is the inspirational and supportive "Change" which contains some lovely lyrics as well as a nicely funky arrangement.

The title track of the album is also very nice indeed albeit too short and although spoken and poetic the music is out of this world. There is something on here for everyone so please check out the album. Recommended!
-Barry Towler


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