After just hearing the excellent vibes A-B-E provided, I figured we'd go into something even more diverse. Such a spectrum of music to cover, and I've only just scratched the surface of an otherwise endless range of melodic possibilities. It is truly astounding how much music can be produced on the internet, no one person could ever hear everything. Enter Teni, a London born singer and producer with a knack for creating smooth vibes across a range of genres. Included but not limited to: afrobeat, blues, and reggae.
Featuring 10 tracks and displaying a sexy cover that's styled very modern; showing bare skin...you get the idea that this album is close to the heart. Raw emotion being transferred here. Her voice is powerful and profound and it covers a wide range of frequencies. You can tell the emphasis was put on the vocals to display an uplifting, verbal experience. The artist's bio reads:
"Afrodisiac" is the debut album by London born soul singer and producer Teni who is influenced by Sade, Marvin Gaye and Fela Kuti and creates an eclectic fusion of afrobeat, jazz, funk and soul. Afrodisiac is a timeless, soulful, sensual inspired piece with sultry vocals, dirty bass lines and hypnotic afro guitars by this innovative singer-songwriter who explores new genres in her compositions. Her message of unity and upliftment and powerfully sensual live performance are sure to help her take the music world by storm..."
Starting out with the title track of the album, 'Afrodisiac', you really get a sense of what this artist is about: smooth basslines, sensual vocals, and raw talent. There's a few things I could say in criticism though: The vocals seem to overpower some of the tracks. The overwhelming presence can be a little distracting however, most of the tracks seem very well balanced. It's a style that fits well for the most part; the melodies are catchy yet, sometimes, I'm left feeling the dynamics on some of the samples are a little plastic-y. A good example would be "When Would It Be". Seems as though the track is made with an ethnic flair in mind however, the intro could have used better samples.
"When Will It Be"
However, with most of the songs - as I said - it's very, very smooth. Everything just seems to flow from one track to the next. I imagine myself sipping on some alcoholic beverage in a club sitting in a booth with some friends, talking about old memories. It's peaceful and it feels raw, in a good way. It's a special thing when an artist can create their own style, and bring something out into the world that no one else can.
This is probably my favorite song off the album. Being a big fan of reggae already, I dig the funky licks on the bassline and the Marley-esque peace vibes that emanate. Parts of this make me wish I could just plan a trip to Jamaica right now. The instruments used in this all feel very pleasant in my ears; it's mixed very well.
"Your Love is the Key"
The 3rd single from 'Afrodisiac', and this is probably the most popular track of the bunch. It features a four on the floor beat, and is very reminiscent of 80's house. I start imagining a more mellow D-Train, Jomanda, or Class Action. Very cool stuff. I picture bright clothes, large dancefloors, and neon colors sprayed everywhere. This is sure to be a beat that really gets the crowd moving.
Teni brings a unique variety of flavor to the world of afrobeat/jazz. Her style is diverse while at the same time reminiscent of artists she is influenced by. The few critiques I could make on her debut album are minuscule. I can say, with complete honesty, that I have not heard something like this before. Similar styles? Maybe. But this is a rich collection of songs that is both inspirational and appeasing to my ear lobes and is very well worth listening to. Try something new out; keep yourself open minded about the world of music because sometimes you might just overhear something you didn't expect and be transported into a new realm of genres.
The best part is, is she's all over the place! Unlike the last artist I reviewed, Teni has done quite a bit of social networking. She's on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. Pick up a copy of 'Afrodisiac' today from iTunes, Amazon MP3, or just visit her personal website for a glimpse into her future endeavors: http://tenimusic.org
Thanks for reading!