Wipe Off The Dust: Get Reacquainted To The Other Lisa Stansfield

Friday, June 11, 2010

Okay, comparisons are never fair, but during the early 90's the UK was pumping out the soulful talent left and right...Lisa Stansfield, Omar, Brand New Heavies, Soul II Soul, Mica Paris...so whenever someone tried to come into that bracket, they were automatically going to get compared. This is the case with Harriet.

Harriet is one of those mystics of the music scene. The ones who released an album, had a great minor hit, and then just vanished before they could even be a one-hit wonder. Like Lisa Fischer, Harriet released a debut album (1990's Woman To Man) that featured some powerhouse vocals, a stunning handful of singles, not to mention just a cohesive set of tracks that deserved more acclaimed. And also like Fischer, Harriet came out at the wrong time, where she had to battle the vocal machines known by last names such as Houston, Carey, Stansfield and soon Dion. Yet, Harriet proves that there is always room for another soulful White girl hailing from UK shores, and it's all in "Temple of Love" the single that got her attention in the first place.

"Temple Of Love" caught my attention on an Internet radio site some time ago, and it has been a favorite lost gem from the early 90's ever since. The track made it to #39 on the Billboard charts, which by today's standards is pretty lofty, yet it deserved a higher charting for the way Harriet's gravely voice drives the song into it's soothing jazz-tinged R&B vibe. Blogging cohort The Isle of Deserted Pop Stars did a neat write-up of Harriet, and sadly, it's one of the few bits of info on the singer, but at least you can get some sort of idea, not to mention a download of Woman To Man, since it is out of print. Woman To Man is a debut album that impresses as it features some sultry R&B/Soul numbers as well as an appearance from George Clinton and his P*Funk All-Stars on a track. Personally, "Temple Of Love" out shines the other tracks, but I pretty much like the whole album as I like Harriet's vibrant vocal display throughout especially on tracks like "Take A Little Time" and the Gospel tinged, "If Only You", which is just as good as anything Mariah Carey did on Emotions. For those who like hearing vocalists that came and went with the quickness, but left in their wake something worth re-discovering again. 


1 comment:

  1. i loved this cd when i was little, i had trouble finding the cd, but got a few yrs latter. i thought i was the only one, this is really soulful. At the time i didn't know she was white, because of her voice , and the video she's kinda racially ambiguous(i'm sure a plus for the lable) any ways nice soul record reminds me a lot of MIca paris

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