Kimberly'Nichole - The Yellow Brick Journey (2009)

Kimberly'Nichole
berly_Nichole_The_Yellow_Brick_Journey_Album.jpg
Click on CD cover
to listen or purchase

Kimberly Nichole has been much in demand as a collaborator for several years. She's worked with artists such as Lyfe Jennings and has shared the stage with Eric Roberson and PJ Morton. And after hearing her debut record, The Yellow Brick Journey, it's easy to see why. As a vocalist, Nichole moves easily from up-tempo rock to pop to soul and hip hop. She even does the auto tune thing that seems to be mandatory these days. However, that track, "For the Looking Ones" is the least interesting song on what is a very good alternative soul record.

If anything, energetic tracks such as "Little Girl New," "Jump the Gun" and "Peace of Mind" all will get feet tapping, heads bopping and butts out of seats. And the rock anthem "Little Girl New," with it's empowering lyrics and killer arrangement jumps out a most interesting track. The song features syncopated hand claps punctuated by blaring horns and Nichole's joyous vocals.

Kimberly Nichole has been much in demand as a collaborator for several years. She's worked with artists such as Lyfe Jennings and has shared the stage with Eric Roberson and PJ Morton. And after hearing her debut record, The Yellow Brick Journey, it's easy to see why. As a vocalist, Nichole moves easily from up-tempo rock to pop to soul and hip hop. She even does the auto tune thing that seems to be mandatory these days. However, that track, "For the Looking Ones" is the least interesting song on what is a very good alternative soul record.

If anything, energetic tracks such as "Little Girl New," "Jump the Gun" and "Peace of Mind" all will get feet tapping, heads bopping and butts out of seats. And the rock anthem "Little Girl New," with it's empowering lyrics and killer arrangement jumps out a most interesting track. The song features syncopated hand claps punctuated by blaring horns and Nichole's joyous vocals.

"Jump The Gun," which finds the vocalist singing about fighting a losing battle against leaping into a relationship, is a funky, rollicking song where the frenetic arrangement matches the lyrical theme. "Peace of Mind" is another funky rocker that works because the song's fast pace seems to be at odds with a track in which Nichole sings about the peace of mind she gets from her lover.

The timely subject matter makes "Disconnected" The Yellow Brick Journey's best song. It tells the story of a woman who allows herself to get involved in a relationship that is all consuming to the point where she loses contact with her friends. When the relationship ends, the singer realizes that she is totally disconnected from her former life.

"Disconnected" can also serve as Nichole's musical statement. So many artists, especially on the soul and R&B side, get disconnected from their principles in their efforts to chase commercial and material success. Nichole's yellow brick journey is leading her in a different direction; a stronger, more musically honest path that she seems determined to follow. Let's hope she can convince listeners to follow. I sure did. Highly recommended.

By Howard Dukes

 

Leave a comment!