December 19, 2009

Douye -- Journey

In a word, wow! Newcomer Douye brings such a freshness, so much silky smoothness to our world of smooth jazz that she produced a beaming smile to my lips the moment I heard her belt out the first notes of her opening track. Such sultriness, such a sense of belonging here. Her debut album, Journey, is loaded with splendid melodies and rhythms and colored perfectly with her fine, oh-so-fine vocals. Such a combination is usually a success, and Douye is here to add an exclamation point to that assertion.

Hailing from Nigeria, one can’t help making the obvious comparison to another nightingale from that marvelous land: Sade. Make no mistake, each of these ladies holds her own identity, but the affinity for the sultry, the sassy, the sexy is more than evident.

This album never misses a beat, pardon the pun, as it glides in confidently and captures every fiber of one’s aural senses and refuses to let go until the closing note of her finale “The Voice.” Choosing a favorite here is about as difficult as you can imagine. Each selection has its own magnetic pull, incredibly ripe with melody and shape. The phrasings on each song are well-placed, and each song sets a solid direction from the opening notes through the end. Still, if really pressed, I suppose I could select a couple of tunes that perfectly embrace and serenade “Fly Away,” “On For You,” “Cold Wind Blows,” “Walk Away” and…oh, did I say “a couple?” The point is this, imagine yourself anywhere tranquil, anyplace soulful, and you'll feel the need to have this album in hand.

We all know of that one-hit wonder or that debut album that became the only signature project for some artist who later vanished into obscurity. Here’s betting that Douye won’t be one of them.

Posted by Ronald Jackson at December 19, 2009 11:17 PM