Gina Carey - The Soul Singer (2015)

Gina Carey
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Gina Carey is on multiple media platforms, and that’s the right place for the modern artist to be because we no longer live in an analog world. Carey is a book author, playwright, producer and CEO of her own record label and the creator of a web video blog entitled Tell My Story in which Carey puts other independent artists in front of the camera lens and allows them to talk about their art and their lives.

Carey is also a singer in her own right who has recorded 11 gospel and R&B CDs. Her latest CD, The Soul Singer, could easily be titled The Funk Singer, as the album finds her navigating deeply in the funk. And while her Stephanie Mills-meets-The Fatback Band sound works better on some tracks than on others, you will be hard pressed to find a singer who immerses herself as deeply in “the one” as Gina Carey.

Gina Carey is on multiple media platforms, and that’s the right place for the modern artist to be because we no longer live in an analog world. Carey is a book author, playwright, producer and CEO of her own record label and the creator of a web video blog entitled Tell My Story in which Carey puts other independent artists in front of the camera lens and allows them to talk about their art and their lives.

Carey is also a singer in her own right who has recorded 11 gospel and R&B CDs. Her latest CD, The Soul Singer, could easily be titled The Funk Singer, as the album finds her navigating deeply in the funk. And while her Stephanie Mills-meets-The Fatback Band sound works better on some tracks than on others, you will be hard pressed to find a singer who immerses herself as deeply in “the one” as Gina Carey.

The Soul Singer is at its best when Carey lends her assertive alto to the tracks addressing affairs of the heart or to fun and funky dance tracks. “I Need To Know” is a great example of the former. It is a bass and percussion driven mid-tempo cut that finds Carey assuring her man that although she is hoping for the best, she is clearly prepared for the worst. The possibility that she will go another moment without knowing this man’s intentions worries her more than the possibility that he may break her heart.  “Is That Alright,” with its wah wah guitars and blues inspired bass line sports a narrative in which Carey informs the object of her desires about her intentions, as well as what she likes. Vocally, Carey brings some fun and sass to this number, “I like the way you talk with intelligence/Seasoned with style and elegance/Can’t hold back my smile when I see your face/You better looking than every man in this place.”

Carey also strives to vary the theme by including some cuts with inspirational and spiritual themes. The best of those cuts is “In Love With Love.” What makes the track interesting is Carey’s distinct take on the concept of being “in love with love.” In the context where this phrase is commonly used, it refers to an incurable romantic – the kind of person given to infatuation but is not willing to do the work to build a relationship. The flip that Carey employs is using the concept to embrace an agape kind of love this is manifested in caring for all humanity. It is definitely a creative way to contrast love and hate, and it is what elevates “In Love With Love” beyond more traditional and cliché inspirational songs such as the repetitive “Dance.”

Carey’s latest will be an introduction for plenty of music fans, but she’s an industry veteran who is comfortable in the analog and digital worlds. While Carey is a thoroughly modern master of all media, this fine vocalist revels in the record’s firm root in old school funk. And when the party and romance lights are on, The Soul Singer is able to hold its own quite nicely. Recommended.

By Howard Dukes

 
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