Bashiri Asad - The Space Between (2012)

Bashiri Asad
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Bashiri Asad’s The Space Between gains momentum as it progresses. The album combines classic soul lyricism and vocals with contemporary production techniques and decisions, such as the choice to open the record with the spoken word piece “In The Air.” The cut features fellow Hoosier, guest poet Tasha Jones. The piece, which uses food as a metaphor to explore the sensual connection between men and women, prepares the listener for a record that will have an artsy intimate and somewhat alternative vibe. The next two tracks on the EP, “The Distance” and “Loving You,” are actually conventional classic mid-tempo soul love ballads. The latter tune makes some melodic and vocal nods to The Spinners’ classic “Could It Be I’m Falling in Love.”  
 
The Space Between takes off when Asad moves from classic soul to more of a contemporary sound with lyrics that move from sensuality to tortured to mystical.
Bashiri Asad’s The Space Between gains momentum as it progresses. The album combines classic soul lyricism and vocals with contemporary production techniques and decisions, such as the choice to open the record with the spoken word piece “In The Air.” The cut features fellow Hoosier, guest poet Tasha Jones. The piece, which uses food as a metaphor to explore the sensual connection between men and women, prepares the listener for a record that will have an artsy intimate and somewhat alternative vibe. The next two tracks on the EP, “The Distance” and “Loving You,” are actually conventional classic mid-tempo soul love ballads. The latter tune makes some melodic and vocal nods to The Spinners’ classic “Could It Be I’m Falling in Love.”  
 
The Space Between takes off when Asad moves from classic soul to more of a contemporary sound with lyrics that move from sensuality to tortured to mystical. Asad operates at the high end of his vocal range on the bass-propelled bedroom ballad, “My Everything.” That same voice displays vulnerability to match the tortured lyrics of “Running on Empty.” The best song on the album is the title track, which features a minimalist arrangement that is a perfect match for the tune’s theme of appreciating the beauty and depth in that which is not visible. 
 
It will be easy for listeners to overlook the understated quality of this record because Asad doesn’t engage in the kind of verbal acrobatics or ID driven posturing that draws such much attention these days. He chooses to depend on solid and soulful vocals and lyrics and intimate arrangements to attract his listeners. Fans who are willing to look for quality in those places not occupied by hype and bombast will find The Space Between a worthwhile effort.
 
Notable tracks: Shape of My Heart, The Distance, My Everything
 
Vocals: 3.5
Lyrics: 3.0
Instrumentation: 3.0
Production: 3.0
SoulTracks call: Recommended
 
By Howard Dukes
 
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