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Issue 1088

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Review

Angela Johnson: It's personal

Angela Johnson: It's personal (Dome Records)

8

6.1

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UK release date 12.04.2010

I first came across the gifted Ms Angela Johnson when she opened for Eric Roberson's Indigo2 gig a few years back. My ears instantly pricked up with her highly polished set and natural ease she had at performing. Her soulful delivery of her tightly honed tunes prevails here too on her new rather excellent album "It's Personal".

However, I wasn't too enamored with the opener a bit too slushy for me but 'Hurts Like Hell' amply addresses the situation with it's crackly beat and syncopated piano. A track replete with Incognito type horns is the perfect foible for AJ's vocals to soar and soar. She does ramming home a damn fine melody filled with angst and a lovely little violin solo comes in quite unexpected fashion, and a glorious accappella ending seals the stamp of class on this top notch composition.

'Be Myself' a mid-tempo belter sees AJ at loggerheads with her love interest trying to change her, stick to your guns girl, he's just jealous of your enormous talent and I really love the fat horns on this, ditch him and stick to the old saying "know thyself!"

This album is peppered with pleading vocals tightly coiled that exemplifies the tension and subtlety that she consistently brings to the table. Her song-writing prowess shines and her musician's chops sizzle throughout this impressive offering. A soul R&B songstress that deserves your attention her effect on you could be immense.
Words Emrys Baird

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