Marisa Lindsay - Submit 2 Love (2007)

Marisa Lindsay
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When you first hear Marisa Lindsay blow, you may think she sounds similar to several icons.  Her unfamiliar voice has a familiar sense of poise that makes you think you've heard her before. Further scrutiny discerns that she is no imitator but an emulator, basking in the same sunshine that once ripened Erykah Badu, Sade, and Jill Scott.  Submit2Love is a sweet production that will likely satisfy savory cravings as well.

When you first hear Marisa Lindsay blow, you may think she sounds similar to several icons.  Her unfamiliar voice has a familiar sense of poise that makes you think you've heard her before. Further scrutiny discerns that she is no imitator but an emulator, basking in the same sunshine that once ripened Erykah Badu, Sade, and Jill Scott.  Submit2Love is a sweet production that will likely satisfy savory cravings as well.

Though her assortment of styles is more notable than her range, Lindsay is a consummate vocalist whose professionalism yields extraordinary results. "Her vocal prowess captivates and offers the audience a blend of traditional jazz and soul in an eclectic variety of song selections," says her producer.  Despite his partiality, the man is right on point.  Showing the same fearlessness as the aforementioned predecessors, Marisa is confident in her individuality no matter what the selection.  This CD proves her exquisite expressiveness.

Her arrangements of classics like, "What A Difference," "Waiting in Vain," and "God Bless the Child" are outstanding given the longevity and high-bar standards of their originals. Marisa hurdles their history to create a welcome addition to the pantheon of performers who have graced this music before. On "What a Difference" her hook sounds like straight up Erykah Badu, before she flips the script, handling the melody with a grace that would have made Lou Rawls take notice. It is first difficult to fathom "Waiting in Vain" could retain such power without Marley singing it, but her ballad overhaul keeps the poetry lean and driven.  Everyone treads lightly with "God Bless the Child" hoping not to embarrass themselves while imagining they sound as good as Billie Holiday.  While Marisa Lindsay is no Billie Holliday, she has no reason for embarrassment either.  The Barbadian beauty forsakes her youth for an elder sensibility that is captivating, not contrived. Rearrangements of "Lover Man," "Our Love is here to Stay," and "You Don't Know What Love Is" are no less impressive.  Saxophonist Alex Walker on "Lover Man," Bryden Baird on "Our Love is Here to Stay," and guitarist Tony Zorzi on "You Don't Know..." deserve equal recognition for the stylistic clarity of this CD.  All her musicians show an impressive ability to lead or follow adding inextricably to the talent rocking this disc.

The title track, "Submit 2 Love" is lush and sophisticated, yet light enough to enjoy steadily.  Her lyrics are romantic, adult and haunting, stirring remembrances of one's own lovelorn realities. "Shadow of You" takes a more modern turn proving her Cuban voice coaches correct.  This twenty-something is more than just a good voice. Lindsay is sultry and seductive as if finally allowed to bear herself to the world.  John Acosta's guitar strains are complicit in making us wait for their climax while bringing us sneakily, lovingly, to our own. Closing cut "Muddy Waters" deviates towards a rock, blues funk, leaving a bit of saltiness on this chocolate pretzel CD.  Its happy twists and familiar flavor are a treat that listeners will enjoy again and again.  Submit 2 Love like a good relationship requires some work, but the result is a love affair that one should not deny themselves.

By Arnold Stovell

 
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