Helen Bruner & Terry Jones - Hollyhood (2011)

Helen Bruner & Terry Jones

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Purposeful lyrics, powerful delivery, seamless production skills and voices brimming with full-bodied soul: it's hard to get more accredited or more enjoyable than the duo of Helen Bruner and Terry Jones. A Philadelphia-based  duo with an impressive resume (commercial jingles, film score work, vocals with Method Man and Redman, collaborations with Gloria Estefan, Celine Dion and a Grammy nomination for Ms. Bruner, to name just a few), The ladies should consider their days numbered as under-the-radar showstoppers with this latest release, Hollyhood.  

Purposeful lyrics, powerful delivery, seamless production skills and voices brimming with full-bodied soul: it's hard to get more accredited or more enjoyable than the duo of Helen Bruner and Terry Jones. A Philadelphia-based  duo with an impressive resume (commercial jingles, film score work, vocals with Method Man and Redman, collaborations with Gloria Estefan, Celine Dion and a Grammy nomination for Ms. Bruner, to name just a few), The ladies should consider their days numbered as under-the-radar showstoppers with this latest release, Hollyhood.  

A follow-up to their 2006 debut, Superstar, Hollyhood embodies all of the duo's urban appeal and trend-eschewing talents. Salacious ‘do me' scenarios? Nope. An abundance of Auto-tune? Not necessary. Helen and Terry don't need any of those clichéd gimmicks to stand out, because their nuanced lyrical narratives and rich, resonant sopranos do the trick. The music may not be edgy enough for the younger set, but most heads will nod and feet will tap from beginning to end, whether it's the saucy up tempo, "Better," the resigned-to-reality kiss-off, "You Runaway" ("I'm walking out the door, cuz' I can't take no more/no need to run from me, take back your keys I'm setting you free") or the provocative, riches-to-rags ballad, "Miss Mary," about an-around-the-way woman whose addiction to drugs caused her to lose it all: "She used to be fly, Mary had it going on in her life/ But secrets inside began to eat Mary's soul and oh/she started to do things that Mary would never do....what did Daddy do to change you?"

Thanks to Ms. Bruner's and Ms. Jones' enviable vocal blend, relatable material and more than enough sass and conviction to keep it all percolating----"Let You Go" is a destined "yeah-girl-kick-him-to-the-curb" anthem, "Weekend" is tailor-made for Ladies' Night and they pour on sex appeal minus the smut factor in "Chocolate Star"----Hollyhood is for anyone who enjoys authentic, organically-created R&B. If you've never heard of this delightful duo, treat yourself, and if you're already privy to the ladies, don't deprive yourself another minute, because kicking it in Hollyhood is well worth the trip. Highly Recommended.

By Melody Charles

 

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