Sharon Musgrave - Outflow (2011)

Sharon Musgrave

Sharon_Musgrave_Outflow.jpg

Click on CD cover
to listen or purchase

If there is one theme that runs through Sharon Musgrave's career, it's diversity. Musgrave came to the public's attention in the early 1990s with the dance track "Fascinating Rhythm." Her 2001 album, Selah, featured spoken word songs like the title track and acid jazz jams like "Down by the Water" and the jazz/acoustic soul torch song "Cruising."

If there is one theme that runs through Sharon Musgrave's career, it's diversity. Musgrave came to the public's attention in the early 1990s with the dance track "Fascinating Rhythm." Her 2001 album, Selah, featured spoken word songs like the title track and acid jazz jams like "Down by the Water" and the jazz/acoustic soul torch song "Cruising."

Musgrave sticks with the eclectic theme on Outflow, her latest release. Vocally, Musgrave has the pipes and the skills to handle this kind of vocal code switching. She can move from the tinged jazz-R&B hybrid "The Embrace" to the Caribbean funk of the mid-tempo head nodder "Same Old." Musgrave showcases her spoken word abilities on the tune "Inna B Flat," a song tells the story of a young girl who confronts the unexpected challenges of life to reach her goals. Musgrave is more than solid as a spoken word artist. Her flow has a natural rhythm and she creates vivid images of the woman's struggles through her words. The tune "Everybody Wants It" will get feet tapping and listeners singing the hook. However, Musgrave embraces her dance queen status on songs like "Smooth Ride," which features a pulsating beat that flows around her switching from spoken word to singing. Outflow also includes dance remixes of tracks like "Beautiful Music" and "Everybody Wants It." Being the jazz man that I am means that I am especially fond on the alternate version of "Everybody Wants It (Afternoons In Stereo Mix)." This slower version features an upright bass, guitar and violin flourishes. Musgrave works to add a couple of more things to an already full plate on Outflow, but she manages to make room for them and these pieces fit nicely.

Notable tracks:  The Embrace, Why, Inna B Flat, The Embrace

Vocals: 3.0
Lyrics: 3.0
Music: 3.0
Production: 3.0
SoulTracks call: Recommended

By Howard Dukes

 

Leave a comment!