This review was approached with a fair bit of trepidation. One the one hand we were being promised horns, which we like; and on the other hand we were being promised urban, which we don't. In our view the songs that lean more to the soul side are the ones that display her vocal talents to best effect, in particular with the sweet soul sound of "Still Can't Live (Without You)" and "Revolution Time". While with "Figure It Out" we have a homage to the Sister Sledge sound of Niles and Rodgers. "Controller" employs a deceptively disarming reggae and ska beat that disguises the seriousness of the song as she pays tribute to Harriet Tubman who helped escaping slaves in the 19th century.
Although the hip-hop/rap/urban sounding tracks simply aren't to our taste, "Break Out (the Zoo II)" is certainly worthy of mention. Not least because it has the best line in the album with, "Didn't you read the scriptures; naw I saw the movies starring Charlton Heston 'cause I liked the pictures". And if there were to be a commercial success from this album we begrudgingly expect it would be this one - it already has the featuring tag with Kia Kadiri, so only the obligatory 'remixed by' is missing.
With this CD it's not so much a case of the jury being out, more a case of just being confused! It is however certainly worth checking out. You'll have to make up your own mind if she has the mouth of a rapper or the heart of a soul singer.