Jamelia - Walk With Me

2007-01-03 10:28
Underrated as she may be, UK artist Jamelia is often classified as an R&B singer. But with her latest work sounding more "popish" and "rockish" than ever before, it's time we sticky-tape the more suitable label of urban contemporary singer-songwriter onto the Birmingham lass.

The title of Jamelia's third studio albumWalk With Me implies some sort of journey. Although the listener won't walk with her through her personal life and the ups and downs of motherhood, Jamelia ventures on a musical journey through the styles and genres that have influenced her sound and career.

Walk With Me isn't quite "I'll-hold-your-hand-while-we-journey-together-through-the-wonderful-sounds-that-have-moulded-me-into-a-reputable-artist" , but is more of a dumpy rollercoaster ride through progressive break-beats, R&B/rock fusion, neo-soul ballads, synthpop and an odd 80s throwback and bhangra tune thrown in for good measure.

The album also features various samples. "Aint A Love" contains a drum sample from Kool & The Gang's "Jungle Jazz", while "Beware The Dog" features a sample from "Personal Jesus" by Depeche Mode (which was covered by Marilyn Manson in 2002), and the waltzy-harpsichordal "Golden Brown" by The Stranglers is sampled on "No More".

So while Jamelia shares the paths down which her talent has taken her, the only motif that ties Walk With Me together is that no consistent musical style spans the album or her career.

- Megan Kakora
The lines between R&B and pop are blurring more and more each year as marketing executives and record companies try to capitalise on both genres.

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