Nikita Germaine - Just Kita (2008)

Nikita Germaine
Nikita_Germaine_Just_Kita_Album.jpg
Click on CD cover
to listen or purchase

It would be incorrect to call Nikita Germaine's Just Kita a retro album. I mean, Just Kita has a contemporary sound. The drum machines provide modern and radio friendly beat that plays off some nice jazz influenced guitar-work. However, Just Kita works best when the listener can make the connection between Germaine and the singers who likely served as influences such as Stephanie Mills and Teena Marie. With the exception of the opening track "911 LOVE," a trendy song that falls flat because it comes off as an attempt to appeal to young listeners (as if many of them don't have the intelligence to understand and appreciate passionate singing and well-written songs minus the unnecessary vocal gymnastics), Germaine plays to her strong points. This is a solid effort because Just Kita combines sophisticated lyrics, storytelling and metaphor with some head-bopping musical arrangements.

It would be incorrect to call Nikita Germaine's Just Kita a retro album. I mean, Just Kita has a contemporary sound. The drum machines provide modern and radio friendly beat that plays off some nice jazz influenced guitar-work. However, Just Kita works best when the listener can make the connection between Germaine and the singers who likely served as influences such as Stephanie Mills and Teena Marie. With the exception of the opening track "911 LOVE," a trendy song that falls flat because it comes off as an attempt to appeal to young listeners (as if many of them don't have the intelligence to understand and appreciate passionate singing and well-written songs minus the unnecessary vocal gymnastics), Germaine plays to her strong points. This is a solid effort because Just Kita combines sophisticated lyrics, storytelling and metaphor with some head-bopping musical arrangements.

The song "Mmmm" is a good example of how Germaine uses metaphor to show how her lover makes her feel. Germaine uses food as a metaphor to explain how good loving can be as filling as blueberry pancakes with a whipped cream topping. That song is driven by Tony Saunders' funky bass work, and Germaine sings the song in a cooing but conversational style that complements the image set by the musicians of a lazy day in bed sharing love and food.

Germaine also proves that she can be the independent woman in the mid-tempo "Enough is Enough," and the upbeat "My Life." On the tune "Enough is Enough" Germaine renders a funky tongue lashing to a lover who has taken her for granted once too often. If the soulful phrasing she employs in the song's introduction doesn't prove that Germaine spent a lot of time listening to 1980s R&B icons like Mills and Marie, the funky nod she gives to the Cameo song "She's Strange" seals the deal. "My Life" is a cry for independence that might remind some of by another 1980s icon, Bobby Brown. However, "My Life," comes off more as a demand to allow Germaine to evolve into three-dimensional person she aspires to be: "I'll never be the girl I used to be/So don't go knockin' me for doin' my own thing/It's not unusual to love yourself/Cause if I don't, nobody else will."

Still, Just Kita is strongest when Germaine sings mid-tempo love songs and ballads. Some of the most notable include "Over and Over," a bluesy number that includes a catchy hook; the happy "La La La," the Latin tinged "I Just Wanna" and another funky number with many changes in tempo that showcases Germaine's vocal range.

With 16 songs and a running time of just under an hour and 10 minutes, Just Kita might struggle to hold the listeners attention toward the end. However, this is a record that is solid in the middle. It includes an entertaining mixture of up-tempo dance songs, mid-tempo songs and ballads and Germaine displays a polished singing style. There is a lot on Just Kita to like.  Recommended

By Howard Dukes

 
Album of the Month - Wade C. Long - "Nostalgia"
Featured Album - Chris Jasper - For The Love of You

Leave a comment!