June 23, 2019

Amel Larrieux - Bravebird (2003)

Country: U.S.A.
Genre: R&B
.FLAC via Mega (Link)
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© 2003 Bliss Life
AllMusic Review by David Jeffries
Similar to the likeminded Alana Davis, the soulful and serene Amel Larrieux only made it a couple years into the 2000s before having major-label support pulled out from under her. Released on her own Blisslife label, Bravebird is an excellent album that suggests her unceremonious dropping from Epic had nothing to do with the quality of her music and everything to do with the label's unwillingness to find a marketing niche for this cosmopolitan wanderer. To say she's somewhere between Alicia Keys and Norah Jones ignores her unequivocal Greenwich Village roots and the smell of incense that must follow wherever she goes. Larrieux is like a more cerebral and matured Wendy & Lisa sharing the duo's love of glistening pianos, sweet waterfalls of strings, and melodies that meander but never lose their way. Bravebird is an incredibly layered album with only the deep grooves and Larrieux's sweet voice shining through on the first listen. Dig deeper and there's the slick and smart production, excellent arrangements, and some truly poignant moments. The bittersweet "Giving Something Up" is the highlight, pointing out the idealism-hangover that folks can experience past their twenties. The slow caress of "For Real," the righteous call-and-response in "All I Got," and the easy house music bounce of the title track make them all close runners-up. "Sacred" comes off as a slow amateur night at the coffee shop, but that's it for slip-ups. Otherwise well written and well executed, Bravebird finds Larrieux leading the new breed of adult alternative artists emancipated from big business and allowed to freely develop their craft.

tags: amel larrieux, bravebird, brave bird, 2003, flac,


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