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Testimony, Vol. 1: Life and Relationship
     

Testimony, Vol. 1: Life and Relationship

4.7 9
by India.Arie
 

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On her third disc, neo-soul's reigning queen of positivity dives deeper into her emotional pool and emerges singing -- albeit briefly -- about pain and disappointment. Loving the skin you're in, taking pride in your hair…it's all nice, but heartbreak sure does make for interesting lyrical content -- just ask Nick Lachey. Of course, India

Overview

On her third disc, neo-soul's reigning queen of positivity dives deeper into her emotional pool and emerges singing -- albeit briefly -- about pain and disappointment. Loving the skin you're in, taking pride in your hair…it's all nice, but heartbreak sure does make for interesting lyrical content -- just ask Nick Lachey. Of course, India still puts a positive spin on her pathos. On the haunting "Good Mourning," anchored by India's subtle acoustic strumming, she bids "Good morning to the harsh realities of life / Good morning to the fact we're not husband and wife" but ends the song with the epiphany "I know that God's will will be done / It's a good morning after all." Over a funky horn riff and mid-tempo piano groove, "These Eyes" also reflects on love lost, and she even gives a gospel-lite reading of Don Henley's "The Heart of the Matter." The rest of the disc, however, finds the motivational singer up to her old tricks. Leave it to the likes of Alicia Keys to spew threats of the "what goes around, comes around" variety ("Karma") -- India takes the high road ("The Wings of Forgiveness," natch) and thanks the one who trespassed against her for teaching her to forgive. And "I Am Not My Hair" revisits the theme of self-acceptance that permeated her breakout song, "Video." Although she may never rock as hard as her Peach State soul sister Joi or sing about the bitter side of love as plaintively as Jill Scott or Erykah Badu, India.Arie is the rare artist on a mission to spread her ray of sunshine, even when the forecast calls for rain.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Andy Kellman
India.Arie's third album would've sounded much different if it had been recorded and released shortly after 2002's Voyage to India. It would've either been made just before or immediately after a major breakup, one that informs much of Testimony: Vol. 1, Life & Relationship. This isn't a bitter breakup album; instead, it's largely a breakup album that instead involves forgiveness, closure, and -- of course -- the kind of soul searching that Arie's fans have come to expect. Arie's relationship was apparently very serious, as demonstrated in "These Eyes," where she demands respect and wonders what her and his children would've been like. Though songs like "Good Mourning" deal with the immediate aftermath ("Good morning silence, good morning to myself/Good morning to the pain in the center of my chest"), they also seem to revel in it as just another part of being alive ("Good morning acceptance, good morning inner strength/I'm loving every moment, even the inner strain"). The album is a major production. Many of its songs involve well over a dozen musicians, some of which -- Rachelle Ferrell, Keb' Mo', Victor Wooten, Rascal Flatts, Acoustic Soul accomplice Mark Batson -- are bound to make some listeners freak. It's clear that Arie has been listening to a lot of country music; while these songs are completely hers (with the exception of Don Henley's "Heart of the Matter," a song that easily fits into the scheme of the album), it wouldn't be surprising to hear a handful of them covered by contemporary country artists. Since a significant portion of the album is centered around heartbreak and moving on, some of Arie's fans might not ever connect fully connect with it, but it will certainly be of great assistance to any of her fans who find themselves coping with something similar.
Billboard - Gail Mitchell
An ambitious, aurally rich suite of storytelling songs (à la mentor Stevie Wonder in his '70s heyday) enhanced by Arie's expressive vocals.
Boston Globe - Sarah Rodman
Lovely acoustic soul.... [Arie] examines what it means to be alone, to forgive, and to thrive -- all through 15 thoughtful tracks.
Atlanta Journal Constitution - Nick Marino
[Grade: B+] Her album has a confessional feeling. Songs unspool like diary entries or prayers. The music can swell or bounce.
St. Louis Post-Dispatch - Kevin Johnson
[Grade: B] Rising from the pain of a failed relationship, the singer-songwriter unveils a new level of strength and empowerment as she looks at what happened and where she's going from there.

Product Details

Release Date:
02/08/2007
Label:
Motown
UPC:
0602517076563
catalogNumber:
000765102
Rank:
14298

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

India.Arie   Primary Artist,Acoustic Guitar,Piano,Trumpet,Vocals,Background Vocals
Bonnie Raitt   Guitar
Rachelle Ferrell   Background Vocals
Javier Solís   Percussion
Courtney Branch   Percussion
Trina Broussard   Background Vocals
John Catchings   Cello
Jon Cleary   Guitar
David Davidson   Violin
Darin James   Percussion
LaMarquis Mark Jefferson   Bass,Bass Guitar
Mike Lawler   Organ
Ricky Lawson   Cymbals
Tony Love   Guitar
Cornelius Mims   Electric Bass
David Piltch   Acoustic Bass
Michael Rhodes   Bass,Bass Guitar
Tammy Rogers   Fiddle
Laurnea Wilkerson   Background Vocals
Victor Wooten   Upright Bass
Keb' Mo'   Acoustic Guitar,Dobro
Mark Batson   Bass,Piano,Bass Guitar,Keyboards
J.D. Blair   Drums
Tarika Lewis   Electric Violin
Blue Miller   Guitar
Joyce Simpson   Background Vocals
Matthew Johnson   Background Vocals
Adrienne Woods   Cello
Shannon Sanders   Keyboards,Background Vocals
Eric D. Jackson   Guitar
Chris Johnson   Trumpet
Rascal Flatts   Background Vocals
Abe Laboriel   Drums
Frank Macek   Bass,Drums,Keyboards
Double G   Conductor
Bryan Brock   Percussion
Lamar Carter   Percussion
Pierre Medor   Hammond Organ,Hammond B3
Alma Cielo   Violin
Marisa Kuney   Violin
Tom Lea   Viola
Ricky Quinones   Guitar
Steve Mackey   Upright Bass
Kerisha Hicks   Background Vocals
Chimere Scott   Background Vocals
Dre Bowman   Bass,Bass Guitar
Tammy Rogers King   Fiddle,Mandolin
Doctah B.   Percussion
Courtney Branch "Doctah B Sirius"   Percussion,Chimes,Conga,Drums,Gong,Bass Guitar,Moog Synthesizer,Roto Toms
Branden Burch   Guitar,Drums,Keyboards
Chenere   Background Vocals
Ametria Dock   Background Vocals
Simon "Woodchuck" Durham   Bass,Bass Guitar
Jimmy "J Rok" English   Bass,Guitar,Keyboards
Laurie Ann Fessler   Background Vocals
Great Grandmother   Vocals,Spoken Word
William Harriet   Percussion
John III Howard   Drums
Charles "Akahdahmah" Jackson   Percussion,Gong,Shaker,Wind Chimes,Bowls
Matthew Johnson   Background Vocals
Trevor Larence Jr. "Trev Beats"   Drums
Deronda Lewis   Background Vocals
Jeanie Lim   Viola
Miles Mosely   Double Bass
Destiny Muhammad "Harpist From The Hood"   Harp
Erik Rostad   Strings,Violin
Moses Staimez   Guitar
Cekoya Tolbert   Background Vocals
Rob Wanda   scratching
Drew Ramsey   Guitar,Bass Guitar,Background Vocals
Alisha Bauer   Cello
Typhanee Fitzgerald   Background Vocals
Richard Johnson Jr.   Drums
Kennth S. Crouch   Piano
Doctah B Serius   Bass Guitar
Natalie Keith   Harp
Miles Mosley   Double Bass
Thomas Lea   Viola
Destiny Muhammad   Harp

Technical Credits

Danny Duncan   Engineer
Cindy Morgan   Composer
Courtney Branch   Audio Production
Neal Cappellino   Engineer
Tracy Kendrick   Engineer
Sylvia Rhone   Executive Producer
J.D. Souther   Composer
Philip White   Composer,Producer,Audio Production
Mark Batson   Composer,Producer,Engineer,drum programming,Audio Production
Bob Tucker   Engineer
Anthony Terrebonne   Engineer
Michael Parnin   Engineer
Che Pope   drum programming
Shannon Sanders   Arranger,Composer,Producer,Engineer,Audio Production
S. Sanders   Composer
Chris Johnson   drum programming
Paul Pilsneniks   Engineer
Frank Macek   Programming,Producer,Engineer,Audio Production,Vocal Producer
Double G   String Arrangements
India.Arie   Arranger,Composer,Producer,Engineer,Liner Notes,Executive Producer,rhythm arrangement,Audio Production,Vocal Producer
Annalee Valencia-Bruch   Art Direction
Dru Castro   Producer,Engineer,Vocal Engineer,Audio Production
Sam Thomas   Engineer,Audio Production
Aaron Fessel   Engineer,Vocal Engineer
Sarah Thomas   Producer
Jared Gosselin   Composer,Producer,Audio Production
Greg Fuqua   Engineer,Vocal Engineer
Phillip Ramos   Engineer
Courtney Branch "Doctah B Sirius"   Producer,Engineer,rhythm arrangement
Andre Burch   Engineer
Branden Burch   Composer,Programming,Producer,Engineer,drum programming,Audio Production
Ametria Dock   Vocal Arrangements
Jimmy "J Rok" English   Programming,Producer,Engineer
John III Howard   Programming,Producer,Audio Production
Reen Nalli   Executive Producer,Management
Herban Shamen   Percussion Arrangement
Tony Terrebonne   Engineer
Drew Ramsey   Arranger,Composer,Producer,Audio Production
Sarah Killion   Engineer
Robert Battaglia   Engineer
Richard Johnson Jr.   Audio Production
Doctah B Serious   Audio Production

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

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Testimony, Vol. 1: Life and Relationship 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
cwFL More than 1 year ago
emotional sing along love the beat music
Noah12 More than 1 year ago
Whether she is interpreting an old song in her own way or producing a new track. she delivers music that she be heard and understood by many generations. She has lyrics that speak to the mind, enlighten the heart and gives the soul peace. I love her music. Btw, Vol. 2 is just as good.
Guest More than 1 year ago
My daughter brought this record for me. She is a 20 year old college student. Just reading the label notes inspired me to listen to the album most intently. The amount of musicians "talented in their own right" beckoned me to wonderful journey of notes. This album is awesome. Every jam just a total experience in itself. The clarity of India's voice and message is something that all ages can relate to. Reminds of early Stevie Wonder and also, "Good Morning Heartache" kinda feeling in the experience of the voice. I love that she is a "women sharing the experience is powerful" type of artist. She encorages women to unite in feeling and excellence in music. I love this album because there is actual music with musicians who love to play and also mentor India. I felt Rachelle Ferrell in the spirit when listening - so it was no surprise to see her as a back-up singer. Purchase this album for yourself, your women friends, and younger women. The message is power. India - please keep making music to make others stronger in the shared word. Thanks so much. I have purchased three more to give as gifts.
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