Conya Doss - Love Rain Down (2006)

Conya Doss
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With 2004's Just Because, Conya Doss moved to the front of the indie soul class, so there was much anticipation for her follow up album.  The good news is that Love Rain Down should continue Doss's ascent.  It is a sly, groove-filled album that gets better with each listening. 

With 2004's Just Because, Conya Doss moved to the front of the indie soul class, so there was much anticipation for her follow up album.  The good news is that Love Rain Down should continue Doss's ascent.  It is a sly, groove-filled album that gets better with each listening. 

Soul music is a pretty diverse palette right now, one that can embrace more traditional pop/soul artists such as Gordon Chambers and James Day, bluesy southern singers like Anthony David, and cool, subtle groove music like Conya Doss's.  Doss is not a traditional soul singer, but her breathy, sensual voice works extremely well on her own non-traditional material, which is deceptively attractive both musically and lyrically.  Love Rain Down isn't filled with hooky radio material, but the disc gets better with each rotation.  The understated melodies of mid-tempo numbers like "Find A Way," the title cut and "Only Be Me" sneak up on the listener, and the ballad "Sign" becomes more beautiful in its simplicity with repeated listenings.  The latter also demonstrates the clever arrangements used throughout the disc, which always seem to be just right for the material, and which bear a rich sound not often found on an independent project. 

The accomplishment of Love Rain Down is best summarized by the album's two contrasting bookends:  The melodic, radio-friendly opening cut, "Tell Me Why?" and the closer, a straight-ahead acoustic jazz number, "Why Did You?"  The two combine to show Doss's surprising versatility and her proficiency as a songwriter, and do a great job of completing the overall package of Love Rain Down

The last three months of 2006 are relatively short on indie soul records, and Doss's may be the most important.  Fortunately it is another winner that moves both Conya Doss and the soul movement forward, and should solidify her position as one of the genre's young leaders.  Recommended.

CR

 
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