Abby Dobson - Sleeping Beauty: You Are the One You Have Been Waiting On

Abby Dobson
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I first met Abby Dobson at the 2007 Soultracks Readers' Choice Awards ceremony. I had come to Detroit to cover the event for my newspaper, The South Bend Tribune. Dobson wasn't up for an award that year. Instead, she was one of many aspiring artists working the room, handing out press materials and/or music samples. Dobson had a demo that included three songs - two of which can be heard on her album, Sleeping Beauty: You Are the One You Have Been Waiting On.

I first met Abby Dobson at the 2007 Soultracks Readers' Choice Awards ceremony. I had come to Detroit to cover the event for my newspaper, The South Bend Tribune. Dobson wasn't up for an award that year. Instead, she was one of many aspiring artists working the room, handing out press materials and/or music samples. Dobson had a demo that included three songs - two of which can be heard on her album, Sleeping Beauty: You Are the One You Have Been Waiting On.

I remember Dobson because she stood out stylistically from the other artists. She was nice, but that's not what made her stand out. Every artist I met that night was down to earth, friendly and accessible. All of these talented people belied the stereotype of music people as aloof and high maintenance.  Dobson stood out because she was the one artist who didn't look the part of a rock star. She wore a pair of slacks, a nice blouse and had on some glasses. She looked serious and earnest. I took her demo CD and listened to it when I got home, and I have to say that I was impressed. Her quiet demeanor gave no clue to the kind of passion Dobson possessed. That passion was especially apparent on the song "Born 2 Luv U," a six minute long tour de force that is an ode to unbridled love.

So three nearly three years after that Detroit evening, the singer's new CD has arrived, and like the woman I met that November night in Detroit, Sleeping Beauty is a serious, passionate and earnest work. The work may be too intense for some people. Most of the songs are long - six to seven minutes - and that might be too much for the casual listener. However, Dobson's great vocals, lyrics and powerful delivery keeps the listener riveted more often than not.

That is definitely the case on the aforementioned, "Born 2 Luv U." That is also true for the powerful "Not This Girl." That track tells the story of a woman who has decided to stop being her lover's doormat. Dobson sings this song with so much intensity that she seems to be working through the stages of grief (stopping at anger). "Not This Girl" weighs in at 7:48, and I was with Dobson every step of the way.  In fact, I repeated the song three times.

Dobson tries her hand at hip-hop soul on the excellent "Didn't Know You'd Be the One," a song on which she sings about being slowly reeled in by a lover who lets her down at the end. Songs like "Not This Girl" and "Didn't Know You'd Be the One" show that Dobson is an excellent musical storyteller. 

Sleeping Beauty is not for the faint of heart. Abby Dobson hits hard and with a quiet intensity that serves as rebut to anyone who believes passion has to be loud.  The understated woman I met in Detroit in 2007 is able to communicate so much more in her own way, and that makes her recording debut that much more interesting. Recommended.

By Howard Dukes

 
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