Terri Walker - Taking Soul Back To Basics

   

Written by Aneta Janssen
Photography by Martin Cairns
15th March, 2006

Terri Walker Critical acclaim has never been an issue for Terri Walker, which explains the relaxed confidence of her performance at a recent media showcase.

With "Untitled" and "L.O.V.E." failing to set the charts alight, the soul singer from London shows no signs of throwing in the towel, as she unveiles the new record "I Am".

No stranger to Mercury Music Prize nominations, Walker hopes her third effort proves lucky, as she takes on the responsibility for the creation as well as delivery of the independent release.

Having been given a chance "to make the album she wants" Walker ditches the commercial look and feel she adopted on "L.O.V.E." for a raw and simple sound reminescent of "Untitled". Gone is the Beyonce comparison-inducing long hair and short dress look, replaced by jeans and short hair. "This is what I am, big arse, no hair", Walker confesses on stage, setting herself as the real deal, as she plunges into an energetic rendition of "I Am".

Terri Walker Vocally venturesome, Walker's performance benefits from years of opera training as much as the unpretentious lyrics, which are given a light-hearted interpretation.

A medley of past releases serves as a reminder of how much of a crime it was not to release "This Is My Time" commercially, yet Walker's delivery has nothing bitter about it, instead, it is clear "I Am" is the way for the artist to be at peace with herself.

The pleasant, yet not very obvious, first single "Alright With Me" aims to re-establish the stripped sound as Walker's signature. Slower jams reaffirm the singer's dauntless stage presence, as "Forever And A Day" flows through the smoky room of Pizza Express Jazz Club retaining the audience's attention.

It is live performances that make Terri Walker stand out from the crowd, for the music itself might be a little slow burning, with the production playing safely within the classic soul territory the artist aspires to own.

At a time when reaching back to the core is the done thing, with the success of down-to-earth league of artist such as the Arctic Monkeys, KT Tunstall, James Blunt and Corinne Bailey Rae, and a string of live performances scheduled in spring, Terri Walker finally stands a chance of being appreciated by a wider audience.


Terri Walker The single "Alright With Me" is released April 24th 2006, while the album "I Am" hits the shelves 15th May 2006. You can catch Terri Walker live on her UK tour 21st April - 11th May.


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