Front Page

CD Shop

The Best Tracks in 2016

New Releases

Forthcoming Releases

Back Issues

Serious Soul Chart

Quality Time Cream Cuts

Vintage Soul Top 20

Boogie Tunes Top 20

Album of the Month

CD Reviews

Editorial Columns


Readers' Favourites


Cecily: Songs Of Love And Freedom

Reviewed by Barry Towler

Soul Express CD of the Season - Summer 2018

Rating: 8/ 10

US Cecily Bumbray / Harmonious Grits, 2018

Pisces / Your Idea Of Beautiful / Yearning: An Interlude (Featuring Drew Kid) / Hope / Song For Bobby Smith / Can You Feel It / Healing: An Interlude (Featuring Drew Kid) / Grow / Don't Hide The Sun

Cecily is a brand new name to me, but it transpires that this is her second outing. Man, am I going to be checking that first album out!!! This album is a straight up quality, No Risk Disc and anyone who attends this website should not be quibbling, and should be ordering this on CD (yes, a physical CD!) immediately. I discovered this amazing set via Amazon Streaming, and as soon as I can I will be ordering the physical product. So enamoured by it I was immediately informing Richard Searling and Ralph Tee at Expansion about this (and another set which I will review soon!) as it is screaming for a mainstream CD release.

CD Baby describes her set as "an exploration of self-love and vulnerability told through 70s-inspired R&B, Soul and Jazz. Ethereal vocals, sweeping string lines, and warm Rhodes keyboards give the work its classic character." Amen to that! The album is what I would describe as the closest thing to a new Syreeta album, filled with warm 70s vibes, real instrumentation and lush production. Cecily's voice has the distinct timbre of Syreeta and the sensibilities of Minnie Riperton. The theme is about growth, struggle and beauty, truth, inspiration and love. It is beautifully delivered from the soul.

The opening song, Pisces commences with the lapping sea, warm vibes, flute and Cecily's angelic, pure and beautiful voice. This is of superior quality and I would buy the album on the strength of this track alone. Track 2, Your Kind Of Beautiful, soars and displays how effortless Cecily's vocal skills are. The warm rhodes on Song For Bobby Smith act as a gorgeous backdrop to he initial monologue.

My favourite song is Grow which has the most gorgeous swirling strings, early 80s Sheree Brown sentiments, the perfect accompaniment to this beautiful summer we have all been experiencing. Don't Hide The Sun has a superb 70s Patrice Rushen flavour and closes the album. This may only be a 10 tracker, but readers here will prefer quality over quantity and if your soul is lacking refreshment, then this is just what the Doctor ordered!

Barry Towler,
The Vibe Scribe

Other CD reviews
Back to our home page