First Impressions: 100% Bev Love

Monday, September 14, 2009

Some odd years ago, Beverley Knight attracted my ears drums with her soul repertoire and effortless style. To me, Beverley Knight, is just real. No plastic soul here, as Miss Knight keeps on serving up nothing but honest to good soul food for thought. While in America she's a blip on the soul radar, in her native UK, Knight is a massive R&B force who has fourteen years in the career bag and has seven albums on the shelve all of varying range that show why she is the reigning Queen of the UK Soul scene. On album number seven, Knight has boldly labeled it 100%, which means that you're not going to be hearing any half steppin'. On 100% the merge of power pop and earthy soul collide to make for one delightful listen and a handful of solid tracks that make this one of her most cohesive efforts. Current hit single, "Beautiful Night" (which was co-written by Amanda Ghost, who heads Epic Records at present) opens the album with a lush air, while the churning "Breakout" sparkles with dance fervor. The Guy Chambers produced title track has a modern doo-wop and Big Band sound melding together to make for one unique cut. Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis give Beverley production on the modern swinging soul of "Every Step", and it fits in nicely with the more boisterous dance tracks. "In Your Shoes" charms with a dust your disco shoes off mindset, but with a pop bite that makes it quite the catchy number. Beverley turns to her usual mid-tempo formula on "Square Peg", but there's a tinge of Gospel notes mixed in that make it quite the showpiece for Beverley's rich vocal tone. The biggest highlight of the album rests in "Soul Survivor" which pairs Beverley with the legendary Chaka Khan and this infectious rock n' soul number fits these two women to a T. Just superb.
100% showcases a hybrid of sounds and ideals, ones that Beverley Knight fans will be pleased to hear again. The shifts in sounds keeps the album from being a straight laced affair, and put the spotlight on Beverley going independent with her own record label, Hurricane Records, was a terrific and successful fit for her. Independence never sounded so sweet.

Rating: 9.1/10
Release Date: September 7, 2009


Highlights
Breakout
100%
Soul Survivor (ft. Chaka Khan)

2 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  2. I definitely love the song, 'Breakout'. I liked this song since I heard the snippet of it before the album was released. I also like the song, 'Force Of Nature', which was a bonus song in the UK.

    It's nice to see a great review of Beverley's work, she's so underrated here these days and this album is the first on her own label too. She got into the Top 20 here with it, which is great considering she was up against numerous Beatles albums being re-released.

    Also, this review made it onto Beverley's forum and got some great feedback from a few fans. It's only a fan forum, but the fans liked your review.

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