Various Artists - Independent Soul Divas 2: Tokyo Rush (2009)

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    When this CD landed on my desk I wasn't sure what to expect.  Would it be full of fast music and aggressive lyrics? Would I be ducking from a mass of karate kicking, man hating, "can do fine all by myself" women?  Or would I be listening some exciting new independent talent?  Thankfully it was the latter; not that I can't hold my own...;)  This is a collection of 16 indepdent female artists of varying age and experience within the industry singing about love, life, fears, disappointments, joy and dreams.  Like a woman has different emotions or sides to her personality, so are there different moods and paces to this CD. 

    Kellie Sae gets things going with You're Al l I Need using her light vocals to tell us about "the special kind of love that's make me want to lose my mind".  Using Mariah's Can't Let Go sample, Kellie celebrates the new love of her life, and how he has helped her overcome so much.  Not letting us get carried away and fly away into the land where all is happy and full of life, LeNora Jaye's Times Are Hard reminds that life is not easy for everyone.  "Tell me how to make a dollar out of 15 cents" LeNora asks as explains how things are difficult for her and her family.  You can't help but her drawn to her story through her beautiful, clear vocals.  The pace is switched again for the listener with the electronica-driven disco infused Waiting by Lea Lorien.  I wasn't sure what she was waiting for, but the track had me bobbing my head to the infectious beat. 

    The next track What Do I Do by Adina Howard was a pleasant surprise, as I had forgotten what a good voice Adina has.  "Is it worth it to stay if it ain't working?" Adina contemplates about her relationship.  The dark, seductive melody is a nice compliment to Adina vocals.  I was initially unsure about the chorus, but after numerous listens to this track I really like it.  On Hearing Rehab (Blurry), I thought I was listening to a new track from Vivian Green.  Maya Neiada's beautiful vocals are very convincing as she sings "I don't need rehab I just need him back".  As a listener we believe that this man will return her back to right state of mind, and she will be able to get out of her funk and put the bottle down. 

    Other no tab le independent artists are Lina, asking modern day women by whose standards do they judge their man? Lina says is going to take some time to help man to change, and that a woman should stand by him rather than simply send him packing when he makes his first mistake.  Melissa Young sings about how she is trying to be herself in a crazy world, and wanting to be loved.  Tracy Cruz sings about her dreams and fantasies, and how she'd like to find a way into your dreams. D'Cheri rich vocals accompany a guitar led track about how she's moved on from a previous relationship, and how her former realizes that no one loves him like she did.  Sy Smith rides over an electronic beat about how beautiful and refreshing her love affair is. Razzberrry tells her man it's over as she's had enough of having to second guess him because of his shady ways.  Whilst Rachel Brown getting ready for a weekend of partying and having a good time after all the stresses of the week. 

    Have you noticed how virtually female singer these days is called a "diva"?  Or how every actress is called an "icon"? I have never quite figured out why we give so many ‘up and coming' starlets these tags, but that is another debate for SoulTracks to facilitate.  Lola Waxx Records has put together a nice CD showing the different nuances of woman, which overall works.  The production on the vast majority of these tracks is of a high quality, not simply someone singing over a Mac-produced beat.  The lyrics are meaningful, clean, heart warming, thought provoking, fun and at times moving.  As a showcase of independent female artists this CD works.  I am interested to see who they select for the next volume, as I believe they have only scratched the surface of independent talent out there. 

    By Ricardito