YahZarah – The Ballad of Purple St James – Review

18 05 2010

YahZarah’s Ballad of Purple St James is a fine, FINE collection of progressive soul/pop music. With Nic and Phonte from Foreign Exchange overseeing the album,  my expectations for the YahZarah project were pretty high (FE’s Leave it all Behind was THE contemporary album of ’09, no doubt). And my goodness, my Guinness! it delivers like some straight off the boat high-end Sushi; some unexpected shit, yeah, but nice, clean, fresh and dope, leaving you salivating come the end, begging for just a little taste more, just a lil’ one, purlease!

Everyone knows, or should know, the single Why Dontcha Call Me No More, a Princey rock belter with a sugary pop crust. Top 10 material in an alternative universe where popular music is good music. Check the video below for proof! Phonte and Nicolay look proper wrong in this one! Nice one fellas.

While the album has a unified feel thanks to FE’s stellar production, the material covers all bases, with a wide-range of influences coming from Stevie (Cry Over You), 90s R&B (All my days), 80s pop (the aforementioned single), 80s soul (the delightful Change Your Mind), Minnie Riperton (Come Back as a Flower), Isley Brothers (Have a Heart), Purple Reign Prince (Starship), contemporary pop (The Lie starts off like some Rihanna tune before slaying that inane shit with a honest-to-goodness quality modern pop song) to deep soul (Last to Leave).

From start to finish, The Ballad of Purple St James is a joy. It may not immediately hit with the old soul heads, but they’ll be missing out on some next level soul goodness. Best album of 2010? We’ll see come the round-up, but who’d bet against her based on this form? YahZarah is on FIRE!

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