Hil St. Soul - Release (2009)

Hil St. Soul
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I've always liked Hilary the voice of Hil St. Soul, but I've not always felt I got a completely great album from her until now. Of course, it helps that Release is largely a best of collection of Hil St. Soul ( a few newbies debuting bows as well). The A&R guy who compiled this package must have read my mind. The songs I've most appreciated over the last decade from this UK diva were nice enough to line up one after the other to serenade me with songs of sass and love. For those who haven't had the pleasure of hearing Hil's open air cover of Stevie Wonder's "Until You Come Back To Me" from her debut, or the sophisticated neo-soul hit "All That (+ A Bag of Chips)" that first got the starlet attention on this side of the Atlantic, will be pleasantly surprised by the dose of feel good Hil St. Soul administers straight to the heart. Hil has a strong, but limited alto whose easy tone glides over these soulful tracks.

I've always liked Hilary the voice of Hil St. Soul, but I've not always felt I got a completely great album from her until now. Of course, it helps that Release is largely a best of collection of Hil St. Soul ( a few newbies debuting bows as well). The A&R guy who compiled this package must have read my mind. The songs I've most appreciated over the last decade from this UK diva were nice enough to line up one after the other to serenade me with songs of sass and love. For those who haven't had the pleasure of hearing Hil's open air cover of Stevie Wonder's "Until You Come Back To Me" from her debut, or the sophisticated neo-soul hit "All That (+ A Bag of Chips)" that first got the starlet attention on this side of the Atlantic, will be pleasantly surprised by the dose of feel good Hil St. Soul administers straight to the heart. Hil has a strong, but limited alto whose easy tone glides over these soulful tracks. The lyrics are cool and confident, with an occasional melodic gimmick thrown in to keep things interesting. The music is largely mid-tempo urban contemporary grooves, blending electronic music with live A-list musicians who are as at home with smooth jazz as they are with grown-up R&B. A rare, satin-draped duet with Dwele alone makes this worthy Release a breathless exhale. Notable songs: "Release," "Hey Boy," "It's Ok" and "Baby Come Over (featuring Dwele)."

Vocals: 3 stars
Lyrics: 3 stars
Music: 3 stars
Production: 3 stars
SoulTracks Call: Highly Recommended

By L. Michael Gipson

 
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