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Reviews

Released: 22nd October 2001.

India Arie - Acoustic SoulAre you looking for something unique and different? Well, here it is. On her first single, she already mentioned that she's not the average girl from our videos, and this album prooves she definitely isn't. Instead of this being an overproduced and polished collection of R&B numbers, these songs sound pure, simple but still creative and real. Therefore you will hear real instruments, including a real drum, instead of the synth sounds.

While her first single, "Video," was one of the best singles this year, with its feel-good lyrics, there are more great songs on the album. "Promises" is a typically Motown tune with its trademark percussion, but the acoustic guitar brings it to a new level. "Brown Skin" is also good, featuring some great lyrics. "Strength, Courage & Wisdom" is a funk number with dazzling guitar sound, and like "Video," it also contains positive lyrics.

"Nature" is pure R&B, but it's much easier to listen to than most R&B songs. "Back In The Middle" is very laid back, and is one of the most radio friendly songs since it's more poppy than the rest of the album. "Ready For Love" is a typical singer/songwriter song, and is just brilliant, probably the best of the album. "Always In My Head" has a fusion feel to it, and reminds me a bit of the Brand New Heavies.

"I See God In You" is a mix of reggae and hip-hop, and it's more radio friendly than the average song on the album. My least favourite, "Simple," is a slowjam, maybe too slow to escape the boring feel, but still nice. "Part Of My Life" is a nice, fresh and groovy hip-hop tune. "Beautiful" is another singer/songwriter ballad, and while it may not be instantly catchy, it sounds very pleasant.

Also interesting are the intro, interlude and outro, which all have a blues/jazz tune dedicated to the legends of music. Overall, you have been wasting your time by reading this review, because you should have already bought the album. Even tough there are not many chart-topping singles on "Acoustic Soul," it sounds very diverse and unique, and is a great gift for music lovers.

* * * * (Marvin van der Weyde)

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