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Tuesday, 14 January 2014 03:31

Avery Sunshine

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Meet the "artist" called Avery - a singer of formidable talent whose vocal warbling recalls Ledisi, Erykah, and Jill while weaving in the incredible gospel intonations of Lisa McClendon and Sherri Jones-Moffett. This project is her journey, and on it she delightfully guides the listener. Sit back and enjoy, you are in able hands.

On her album, Ms. Avery walks with confidence into her music, with attention to the mood, lyric, and delivery necessary to touch her listener. Avery's voice is intentionally and seductively controlled, housing a purposeful restraint. You know this gospel trained artist has vocal power - evidenced by "All In My Head" and "Blessing Me" - but that power is only released when required due to either lyrical interpretation or by emotional demand.

Her voice is intriguing; it demonstrates personal strength and independence while addressing the truth of being plagued by human frailty and realities. Contrasting Aretha, whose classic music tends to showcase strength with seldom self-reflection or investigation, Avery rather follows in the footsteps of the likes of Anita Baker whose music can bear to admit mistakes without self-degradation, but rather maintaining dignity.

An amazing project from an talented artist, the standout track is "Ugly Part of Me," a song which, quite frankly, is better in long form than in radio edit. The radio edits removes too much of Avery's quality and skilled interpretation. The long version is sultry, with restrained emotion, solid storytelling, and layered, lyrical interpretation. The track uses an excellent blend of delightful "churchy" chords and references. (IE: Hammond B3 organ reference, BGV arrangements, etc). Love the horns. The vocal and music grove is solidly 'in the pocket' with great restraint and emotional focus. Avery pulls the listener into each lyric with ease and finesse. The lyric break at 3:42 mins is a huge component of the song (and missing from the radio edit). During this lyric break, the use of vocals to 'wail' in agony related to the poor decision of causing her lover to walk out - is brilliant! Simply magical!

Related to overall the project, big snaps to the vocal arrangement. Lead and BGV's on the project are quality. They fit each other like call and response fits spirituals and field songs. With a quality band laying the cornerstone of each track, this is a well-balanced project with a variety of tracks showcasing genuine ability; the project has an authenticity that feels true to the soul and prowess of Avery Sunshine.

Highly Recommended: "Ugly Part of Me" "Bags Packed" "Blessing Me" "All In My Head."