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Soul Express Album of the Month - June 2006

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Lynne Fiddmont – Flow
(US MidLife, 2006)
Holiday – Cupid – Flow – Something I Can Feel – Never Really – U R Loved – Say – Feels So Right – No Regrets

"Flow" was one of my top tunes of 2005 and its with great joy that the album has now arrived. We all know this Lady from her numerous vocal appearances and especially her work with Wayne Linsey back in 1991. If you loved that album then you will not be disappointed with this. The vibe of the album is laid back, sun-drenched with Latin and jazzy flavours and unapologetically adult-orientated.

Lynne’s vocals are fantastic and are also captivating in that it is sexy, smooth, luxuriant and relaxed in some magnificent amorphous mulch. For instance check out the opening song, the ESSENTIAL "Holiday". Every time I get into this warm Latin groove I hear Sheree Brown’s influences, Patrice Rushen’s sensibilities, Leon Ware’s barely restrained eroticism betwixt the groove and Syreeta’s sensitivity in delivery. Oh yes, this is what I want to hear!!!

"Cupid" is a gorgeous floater that will have lovers of Rhonda Thomas’ "Passion Plea" reaching for the repeat button. We do not hear tracks of this quality much nowadays, dear readers, and the fact that there are but 9 songs on offer here should not put you off at all. Here in this world it is the quality that counts and there’s more of that in the first two tracks that anywhere else let alone the rest of the CD!!! The aforementioned "Flow" lopes along with its happy, jaunty stride and has echoes of Leon Ware within its make-up. I’m thinking more of the sensitive synth arrangements and chord changes that are cleverly and neatly understated. If you like the tropical, warm feel then the percussive flavour of "Something I Can Feel" with sax courtesy of Keith Fiddmont will certainly appeal.

When I heard "Never Really" I could imagine Natalie Cole attempting this type of ballad. I especially like the fresh, live feel of the recording and Luis Conte on percussion and Ricky Lawson on drums have a big part in this. This song seems woefully short for my liking – a sure-fire indicator that I love it very much and cannot get enough of it. Luckily the beautiful "U R Loved" has similar traits and although does not rise to such dizzy heights has much to keep you gripped. The gentle backing, heavenly vocals with Bridgette Bryant and Fred White in support are sublime.

Impressive still is the excellent "Say" which features Freddie Washington on bass. This could have been recorded in the quality soul heyday of the early 1990s; it really is that good. It really is lovely to have real singing and real instruments in the studio, and even when programming is the order of the day on "Feels So Right" this does not let the side down. Slinky, sexy and in the pocket. A dream of a track, enough said.

The final song, "No Regrets" is the jazziest offering and a smart, cool way to drop the curtain on what has to be one of THE albums of 2006 so far. Please do not overlook this album. Hopefully we will receive more gems like this from Lynne in the coming years.
- Barry Towler

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