Blessed with a sensual four-octave voice and a talent for penning intelligent songs that touch on mature affairs of the heart, British singer-songwriter Julia Fordham has flown below America's pop culture radar. While Concrete Love won't be knocking Britney Spears or Jennifer Lopez off the charts anytime soon, the thoughtful, warm-blooded disc should win over fans of similarly mellow chanteuses like Norah Jones and Suzanne Vega. Tucking her glistening vocals into a warm production by Larry Klein (Joni Mitchell's ex), Fordham shines on the winsome confessional "Wake Up with You (The I Wanna Song)"; the Quiet Storm lament "Foolish Thing"; and the title track, a soulful duet with India.Arie. Elsewhere, she slips into a cool groove reminiscent of Sade's on "Love," buttressed by tasty Hammond B-3 organ licks and harmonies from Lyle Lovett background singers Sweet Pea Atkinson, Sir Harry Bowens, and Willie Green. Fordham tips her hat to the late Minnie Riperton on the shimmering tribute "Roadside Angel" and a hidden cover of Riperton's best-known song, "Loving You," which Fordham handles with suitable aplomb. A gorgeous display of this song stylist's many musical gifts, Concrete Love carries her songs' emotional weight with an airy touch.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Julia uses every range of her voice with perfection. ''Concrete Love'' with India Arie combines two souls as well as two voices. This music calms and invigorates the soul.