1) Find Your Way (Back in My Life) 2) Heaven 3) Into You 4) I Can't Stop Loving You 5)
Without You 6) Set You Free 7) I'm in Love 8) True Love 9) Each Other 10) You Might Win
11) I Get Lifted
Produced by KEM
There's still hope for soul music. The fact that an album this good tops the R&B chart is a cause for celebration.
Detroit-based KEM Owens' debut album Kemistry made it to my top ten in 2003, but this
laconically titled second set is a serious contender for album of the year. The production is
top-notch, with true "in-the-pocket" players like Ron Otis (drums), Al Turner (bass) and
David McMurray (saxophone) providing a relaxed but solid, smooth yet funky backdrop for
KEM's sophisticated songs. Boy is it good to hear real drums for a change!
This really is one of those rare albums where you never feel tempted to skip a track. Highlights
will undoubtedly vary from listener to listener, but I find myself gravitating towards the
sublimely beautiful ballad Heaven, the Al Jarreau-influenced midpacer Into You,
the mellow stepper Set You Free with its nagging guitar riff, the melodic midtempo
I'm in Love and the closing number, a compelling, sax-driven version of the
Casey-Finch tune I Get Lifted (recorded in the 70s by George McCrae and Latimore,
KEM's whispery vocals may not suit everybody, but personally I find his jazzy styling just perfect
for this music, no matter if he at times sounds like a trumpet or woman.
Situation: The weather is warm. You have a cold drink in hand. A friend has borrowed your
favourite Impromp2 album. Reaction: You slip into the CD player this disc full of
mellow magic. All is well again. (9) - Kimmo Heikkinen
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