On Becoming A Woman...
(CD Sol Image Records)
Many of you may know Alison Crockett under her nom de plume Diva Blue. As Diva Blue her throaty, rich voice graced many records like King Britt's Sylk 130 (Gettin' Into It, Season's Change), Blue Six (All I Need) or Oba Funke (Freedom, Buttamilk).
Finally it's time for Alison to step into the spotlight as a solo artist and her debut album On Becoming A Woman... is now available.
On Becoming A Woman... is something of a family affair with Alison writing and singing the songs (plus playing piano on two tracks) and her brother Teddy Crockett producing and playing keys, guitars and drum machines. The result is a very good, fresh and original album full of inspired soul songs. Comparisons to icons of neo soul like Erykah Badu or Jill Scott may be immanent, but Alison really has developed a sound and style of her own.
The album starts with the rock-funk of Save Me, a catchy tune that sees Alison doing the young angry woman who reluctantly falls in love again (Oh save me from loving you/I just promised myself/that I would not fall in love again so soon).
When I Think Of You is the only cover version here and this Janet Jackson Jam & Lewis written tune is redone as a pleasant midtempo song.
Alison's strength are downtempo tracks like the brilliant Crossroads, a soulful song about being at a crossroads in a relationship when one discovers that both partners want something different in life. For my ears this song has all the right ingredients to become a future classic.
Another highlight is U R, with Alison on piano, Casey Benjamin on Rhodes, Carlos Henderson on acoustic bass and Teddy Crockett on guitar, this song has a great organic feeling and just oozes class.
Like Rain is another killer cut that incorporates everything that has made the neo soul genre so influentially, a fine vocal performances by Alison, organic instrumentation and of course a memorable song, that won't get out of your head.
There's also one song that's slightly reminiscent of King Britt's Sylk 130 or Vikter Duplaix, i.e. Alive which was co-written by Teddy Crockett and it has this hypnotic quality that makes you want to hear it again and again.
But Alison doesn't stop there and deliver other strong songs like I'm Gonna Come, What We Do Now, the drum & bass influenced Oil & Water or You Know What Happens, a song that finds Alison in a seductive mood trying to persuade her lover to do his duties.
Although some songs like Oil & Water, Nappy or Save Me do need a little time and frequent listenings to really reveal their beauty, On Becoming A Woman... is a brilliant debut album and especially songs like Crossroads, Like Rain or Alive makes this a must have for any discerning soul music fan.
(For more information and sound snippets visit alisoncrockett.com and cdbaby.com)