Candice Anitra - Big Tree (2012)

Candice Anitra
Candice Anitra Big Tree.jpg
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Candice Anitra poses a challenge for those who rail against the moribund state of R&B music. Part of the reason is that this self-described “left of soul” vocalist can’t strictly be placed in a category such as R&B. Big Tree, Anitra’s second CD that is scheduled to be released on March 27, includes songs such as “Love Sick” that make more than a passing nod toward the 1980s Minneapolis fusion of funk and new wave. “Take This Hello” is a blues-inspired kiss off song that features Anitra stretching notes to operatic lengths while being backed by an electric organ. “Today” is a funky number where the music and Anitra’s vocals match the intensity of the song’s subject matter – the 2010 Haitian earthquake.

Candice Anitra poses a challenge for those who rail against the moribund state of R&B music. Part of the reason is that this self-described “left of soul” vocalist can’t strictly be placed in a category such as R&B. Big Tree, Anitra’s second CD that is scheduled to be released on March 27, includes songs such as “Love Sick” that make more than a passing nod toward the 1980s Minneapolis fusion of funk and new wave. “Take This Hello” is a blues-inspired kiss off song that features Anitra stretching notes to operatic lengths while being backed by an electric organ. “Today” is a funky number where the music and Anitra’s vocals match the intensity of the song’s subject matter – the 2010 Haitian earthquake.

Those who recall Bark Then Bite, Anitra’s musical introduction, know that she’s has no patience for being placed in boxes. That fact came through in two of Bark Then Bite’s stronger tunes, “Objectify” and “Too Much Woman.” The former rails against men who view her solely as a sex object while the latter rejects attempt to fence her in artistically. Anitra doubles down on her musical independence on Big Tree. Tracks move from rock to electronica to a cappella and alternative.

Vocally, Anitra is a big voiced singer who refuses to sing like a teenager in order to gain the type of mainstream acceptance that a singer with her talent probably deserves. Unfortunately for this Brooklyn based artist, that probably explains why she had to had to make like your local public radio affiliate and seek donations from “people like you” in order to get the project done. However, fans of artists who embrace a sense of adventure will climb the Big Tree with Anitra. Recommended.

By Howard Dukes

 
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