April Hill - Love 360 (2007)

April Hill
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Wall Street's loss was soul street's gain.  When April Hill quit the prestigious Goldman Sachs investment banking firm to pursue her dream of making music, some of her peers may have thought her crazy.  But from the first note of "The Search," the opening cut on her debut album Love 360she proves herself an artist whose stock is most certainly on the rise. 

Wall Street's loss was soul street's gain.  When April Hill quit the prestigious Goldman Sachs investment banking firm to pursue her dream of making music, some of her peers may have thought her crazy.  But from the first note of "The Search," the opening cut on her debut album Love 360she proves herself an artist whose stock is most certainly on the rise. 

"The Search" is an auspicious beginning to a very good introductory CD, one brimming with personality and solid music.  And if that cut weren't enough, she follows it directly with "Feelin' You," a wonderfully sexy ballad that Hill interprets like a singer twice her age.  Either song could be a smash.   Once the young chanteuse has hooked you, she takes a turn and wanders into dangerous territory, attempting back-to-back covers of classic songs of Marvin Gaye ("I Want You") and Bill Withers ("Hope He'll Be Happier") -- and amazingly pulls them off. Her sly take on the Gaye cut, in particular, is a treat, and she makes this instantly recognizable track her own. 

The rest of the ten cuts on Love 360 are uniformly strong, reminding listeners in some place of Conya Doss ("I Wanna Be Free") and in others of Erykah Badu ("I Can't Stop Loving You").  And after a series of jazz-tinged midtempo numbers, Hill finishes the disc with a surprise: a great 70s style disco number, "No More Tears."

Kudos go to producers Marlon Saunders and Shawn Lucas for creating the jazzy/soul environment through which Hill wanders on Love 360.  Together with Hill, they've cut one of the most enjoyable debut albums of 2007 and have made this reviewer anxious to hear more of April Hill.  As far as I'm concerned, Wall Street can keep waiting...

By Chris Rizik

 
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