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Kim Tibbs: Kim

Reviewed by Ismo Tenkanen

Rating: 7/ 10

Soul Express CD of the Season - Winter 2018

US Expansion CD, 2017
Buy this album from our CD Shop

1) I Need You for Your Love!
2) Soul!
3) My Better Side
4) Drifting
5) For
6) Move!
7) Come on By!
8) My Reason for Life
9) Could I Make a Life With You?
10) My Heart Belongs to You...
11) A Building That'll Last
12) The River

Bonus Track:
13) Soul! (Remix - Extended DJ Version)

Talented Alabama based singer-songwriter Kim Tibbs gained UK Soul Chart #1 slot with her debut single I Need You for Your Love (2016), and has created much interest in UK soul circles ever since. Expansion made the clever move and released this album in the U.K., and it is a self-evident pick for our latest album of the season.

I Need You for Your Love introduced Kim as a personal soprano singer performing fresh and elegant modern soul spiced by lots of real instruments. The album proves that Kim is a highly versatile artist whose musical range varies from modern soul to rootsy Southern soul and also some jazz-oriented songs, although I have a feeling she is not vocally quite in her own comfort zone when she sings the rootsier or jazzier stuff.

Her latest single My Better Side represents the modern soul side of her repertoire, with a programmed groove much like Loose Ends' smash Hangin' on a String, and this has been clearly the most played tune of the album online. However, my personal favourites on the album are the stylish, tender ballad tune For! and the organ based profound soul ballad Could I Make a Life without You, which I regard as the most impressive rootsy soul tune on the album.

On the uptempo front, Soul! could easily be a future soul club classic, with its modern programmed groove, but the 70s soul devotees will undoubtedly prefer the meatier and funkier Driftin', on which the rhythm reminds me of the B.T. Express classic Do It til You're Satisfied. Some nice flute and trumpet embedded in the groove as well.

Kim Tibbs listed Wilson Pickett and Al Green as her idols, but did not mention any Southern soul songstress. Still, she wants to show she is not a stranger in the Southern soul genre, either, and demonstartes this with a couple of very challenging, deep and traditional Southern soul songs. The bluesiest tune Come on by! is written (by Kim herself) in a classic deep soul style, and would really demand a dynamic, explosive vocal delivery. Nothing wrong with Kim's own interpretation, but this would really have been perfect for Etta James or Aretha Franklin. In a similar way, the jazziest tune My Heart Belongs to You is obviously influenced by Billie Holiday but vocally Kim is closer to Erykah Badu with her fragile interpretation.

All in all, not a bad tune on the whole album, and a very promising debut set from this multi-talented lady.

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