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India.Arie

Acoustic Soul  Hear it Now

RS: 3.5of 5 Stars Average User Rating: 4.5of 5 Stars

2001

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The songs this Atlanta-based singer conjures up are rooted in a back-to-basics soul vibe, and the arrangements on her debut album demonstrate the emotional charge unplugged instruments can add to the mix. But the combined effect of these elements -- along with India.Arie's clearly heartfelt delivery -- adds up to much more than what the album's title implies. On "Back in the Middle," a character study of people going to extremes to prove themselves, she runs the vocal gamut from delicate crooning to full-throttle belting. Slow and bittersweet, "Ready for Love" complements yearning (but never mushy) romantic sentiments with an elegantly spare accompaniment of guitar, cello and piano. "Video" is a lilting manifesto about appreciating beauty that's more than skin deep. Too often diva-osity is about grand gestures and sassy attitude; Acoustic Soul is a reminder that true divas also possess quiet inner strength.

SANDY MASUO
(June 4, 2001)



(Posted: Jun 5, 2001)

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