Athene Wilson - It's About Time (2010)

Athene Wilson
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I won't begin writing a review until I hit upon a theme. Sometimes the theme is obvious, but most of the time, I have to listen to the CD numerous times and in many different settings. I'll play it on my computer at home, and I'll listen to a record on my iPod and in my car. Listening to a CD in my car is a must. By the time I'm ready to write, I figure that I've played the CD about 10 or 15 times, and the themes just emerge. The theme that I was working on as I prepared to write a review of It's About Time, Athene Wilson's new CD, dealt with Wilson as a artist who is comfortable in her skin. She is an adult singer and she embraces that identity for better or worse. I was leaning that way, but not willing to fully commit to that theme - and then I read Chris's recent commentary, and I realized that my instincts were right.
I won't begin writing a review until I hit upon a theme. Sometimes the theme is obvious, but most of the time, I have to listen to the CD numerous times and in many different settings. I'll play it on my computer at home, and I'll listen to a record on my iPod and in my car. Listening to a CD in my car is a must. By the time I'm ready to write, I figure that I've played the CD about 10 or 15 times, and the themes just emerge. The theme that I was working on as I prepared to write a review of It's About Time, Athene Wilson's new CD, dealt with Wilson as a artist who is comfortable in her skin. She is an adult singer and she embraces that identity for better or worse. I was leaning that way, but not willing to fully commit to that theme - and then I read Chris's recent commentary, and I realized that my instincts were right.

Wilson will find it a struggle to get airplay despite the fact that there are a couple of radio friendly cuts on It's About Time. However, instead of trying to find herself a "hot" producer who could give her a youthful sound, Wilson played to her strengths - mainly a mature, sensual voice featuring precise vocals and phrasing. Wilson's confidence in her vocal abilities has yielded an album that is balanced in terms of tempo and song selection. Wilson mixes in four remakes, which gives It's About Time a feeling that is both classic and contemporary. The covers are pretty straightforward interpretations of "If Only You Knew," "Is This Love," "At Last" and the gospel classic "I Won't Complain." In Wilson's case, the decision to play the remakes straight is consistent with her musical personality.

Wilson is a classic soul singer, and her classic soul sensibilities come through clearly on two original tracks, "Rainy Days" and "I Want to Be Where You Are." The latter is a southern soul influenced duet that has newlyweds first dance written all over it. "I Want to Be Where You Are," is It's About Time's best song, followed closely by the mid-tempo torch song "Rainy Days."

One would figure that there has to be a place on radio for such a refined and self-assured singer. Hopefully, even if Athene Wilson is not fortunate enough to get a lot of radio play, soul music fans will take the time to look for her. They'll be glad they did. Recommended

By Howard Dukes

 

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