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The Soul Express Album of the Month

January 2003

Sakai: The most impressive artist on the new compilation

CafédeSoul 2

CafédeSoul, 2002
1) K-Rob: Tonite 2) Ed Perry: Last Night 3) Sirius B Project: Autumn Breeze 4) Sakai: Morning Kisses 5) Keith Robertson: Mi Corazon (My Heart) 6) Five Point Plan: Second Time 7) Leena Conquest: The Breeze (Remix) 8) Sirius B Project featuring Donnie: Always Remember 9) C-Nario: Body Fusion 10) Corey D. Abrams: Til Forever Ends 11) Mike T: Cruisin' 12) Five Point Plan: Sign Your Name 13) Tonya Chester: Girlfriend

Whew! We've barely recovered from the impact of the stunning first volume (reviewed in issue 2/2002) when those folks at CafédeSoul have another knockout compilation of contemporary indie soul waiting for us. As you can imagine, I'm already salivating.
     After the first few plays, I can say that apart from Eddie Perry's Last Night and Tonia Chester's Girlfriend, both of which are somewhat more contemporary R&B-oriented than I'd wish, this compilation is definitely in the same style and class as its predecessor.
     Tenor-voiced newcomer K-Rob, if my memory serves me right, is a relative of Ronald Isley, and he offers Tonite, a mellow dancer with trite lyrics. Mike T's Cruisin' is stylistically similar, but with more of an early-80s feel due to its bass licks.
     The two Sirius B. Project tracks are stylish midtempos with real instrumentation, with the latter having the much-hyped Donnie on vocals (his debut album The Colored Section should be with us soon). There are also two excellent picks from the recent Five Point Plan album; Second Time and Sign Your Name are classy ballads you'd expect to find on an Incognito record.
     Leena Conquest's The Breeze was my favorite track on the first volume, so it was with some trepidation that I approached this remix, but it turns out Josef & Madhatter (of Woody Cunningham fame) have done an excellent job. They've replaced Roy Ayers' vibes and the somewhat stale rhythm of the original version with a magical, airy synth pattern. Excellent!
     C-Nario, three lovely girls from Chicago, offer us their successful version of Starvue's ultimate two-step classic Body Fusion.
     Keith Robertson and Corey D. Abrams are tenor vocalists who excel with their smooth, romantic midtempos; if Marqo's Absolutely Nothing was to your liking, you'll definitely enjoy the passionate Mi Corazon.
     And I've saved the best for last: Sakai's Morning Kisses is the gem of this compilation, being a sensuous, dreamy, shuffling midtempo ballad MEGA-SOULFULLY interpreted by a Janice Dempsey / Angel Rogers type of soprano. This really is a song you'd like to wake up to each morning!
     Every bit as essential as volume one. (8) -KH

The album of the Month in December 2002: Pieces of a Dream
The album of the Month in November 2002: Peggi Blu
The album of the Month in October 2002: Various Artists: Organic Soul 2
The album of the Month in September 2002: Maysa
The album of the Month in August 2002: Brenda Hillman

The album of the Month in June-July 2002: Will Downing
The album of the Month in May 2002: Kloud9
The album of the Month in April 2002: Ledisi
The album of the Month in March 2002: The O'Jays
The album of the Month in February 2002: Jill Scott
The album of the Month in January 2002: N'Dambi

Albums of the Month in 2001
Albums of the Month in 2000
Albums of the Month in 1999
Albums of the Month in 1998
Albums of the Month in 1997

Other CD reviews
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