Straight out of Newark, New Jersey, the same place that gave us Sarah Vaughn and Whitney Houston, comes the remarkable sound of Valarie Adams. This young lady with lemon-honey coated pipes has been compared to Patti LaBelle and Dorinda Clark-Cole, and on her self-titled project from RetroSoul Recordings, she proves why she is a Diva to be reckoned with.
You know how rappers have a tendency to drop a beat and flow from the top of their heads? Valarie's disc opens with "Freestyle Pt. 1," which finds her just singing from the heart. "This track is crazy," she exclaims as she segues into "I Think of U," in which she sings with so much conviction that whoever she's singing about, that person should be more than glad that they have someone in their life like Valarie! "Do U Remember" is a banging number inflected with a dash of of Hip-Hop flavor that could easily be a nod to the styling of Mary J. Blige while "Back N' the Day" showcases Valarie's scatting abilities. Halfway through this disc is "Freestyle Pt. II" that features ad-libs over some razor-sharp drumming. She belts out a stunning reinterpretation of Anita Baker's 1983 epic "Angel" and backdoors that with a passionate track called "C'mon Over." Closing out the album is the G-Funk sounding remix to "Why Can't We" which is guaranteed to keep their heads ringing.
It's been said that Valarie Adams is a woman of conviction and she assures you why with 12 tracks of pure and uncut soul. She's got a vocal range that can't be denied and you can best believe after hearing this magnificent project, Ms. Adams will make heads bob for many years to come.
By Christopher Whaley