VIA NY DAILY NEWS:
Most artists talk about the need to grow as musicians, but few do anything about it. Especially not on an album that comes hot on the heels of a hit.
After all, who’d risk shaking up a formula that just clicked?
One of the few to do so in recent memory was Pink, who debuted as a streetwise R&B singer only to rebrand herself as a full-on rocker for CD number two.
Now we can add to that risky list Ledisi.
The singer’s first major-label album, 2007’s “Lost and Found,” earned her a Best New Artist Grammy nod. She lost to Adele, but the nomination gave her a PR windfall you can’t buy. Given that, you’d think her new CD would nervously cling to the sound of her breakthrough.
While Ledisi’s last album presented her as a jazz-leaning, vampy seductress (anointed with hints of R&B), the new “Turn Me Loose” transforms her into a no-nonsense soul yowler. It’s as if Cassandra Wilson woke up one day and decided she’d rather be Chaka Khan.
The difference flatters Ledisi no end. While her previous CD revealed a singer blessed with agile technique and a striking timbre, the relatively understated tone of that album held her back. Also, what some called “jazz” elements turned out to be just a nice way of saying those parts weren’t very catchy.
“Turn Me Loose” not only boasts far more fetching tunes, it’s got deeper grooves and vocals that raise the roof.