India.Arie - Testimony: Vol 2, Love & Politics

2009-03-11 13:40
 
Testimony Vol.2: Love & Politics
 
The very self-importantly-titled Testimony: Vol 2, Love & Politics does have its moments though. "Ghetto" makes the point - repeatedly but eloquently - that the poverty gap is widening, that all over the world, the majority pays the price for the way the rich live. India clearly means well when she praises the courage of women suffering from Somalia to Rwanda in an elegant takeover of some of Sting's 80s territory on "Pearls". And her musical influences speak of Pan African experimentation that, while diluted, does set her apart from all the other goody-goody girls winning Grammy awards.

But "Chocolate High" (featuring the talents of Musiq Soulchild) feels like just another, less cute duet version of the unbelievably sexy "Brown Skin" off Acoustic Soul. And a lot of the tracks - particularly those in which she alternates extolling the virtues of one of her lovers, with praising her God, with churning out trademark platitudes about self-worth - are more wordy than profound. There's simply no song on here with the uplifting kick of "Video", just a lot of lyrics saying the same things in much less interesting ways.

Of course, India's gorgeous voice is always going to make her the darling of neo-soul radio. If you're just after the kind of production you can wallow in like a hot bath, you can't go wrong with this album. People may be suffering in Somalia, but it sounds so damn yummy you just want to add more bubbles and abuse your geyser further.


Is it enough to make the same album over and over and over again? Not if you all you can come up with for a fourth album is a watered-down version of your first release, with a bit more political preaching, and a few colabs thrown into the mix.

What to read next: Kalahari

Mtitsh 2009/03/11 11:04 AM
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What a crappy review, this is a great album!!
Jean 2009/03/11 2:30 PM
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Hmm... well write your own review (of the album), and send to publishme@sa.24.com. As a fan, I was highly disappointed. But three stars is actually quite a positive rating.
sassness 2009/04/01 4:05 PM
I am an African dude who listens mostly to what is called 'black music', i.e. Funk, Afrobeat, Jazz, Hiphop, Blues ect. I dont think it would be fair for me or to potential listerners that I review rock, pop,classical,heavy metal, Indie Rock. The reason being that I dont genuienly identify with the music and the messages being relayed with the music. Where I am getting at is that, really now Rajish, you cant expect a Jean Barker fully comprehend an artist like India. Its unfair on India, Jean and ultimately us the people who will go and buy the album. Jean must stick to Britney Spears and their ilk.
KLZ 2009/04/01 4:13 PM
I DONT CARE what you say, I have all her cd's and i am sure getting this one. She is my girl, I can never feel down when im listening to her music. The msg in her music is often profound!!
Bahle 2009/07/22 4:20 PM
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OMG.........the album is GREAT, this woman knows her stuff. I luv every bit of it.........u go India Arie.
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