Vanessa and Peter Daou are modestly famous club-music mavens who combine a sort of new-Beat lyrical approach with sinuous but polite dance music. The focus is on Vanessa's swoony, whispery vocals and sexpot pose, behind which swirl jazzy beats of various types. The beats themselves are always quite low-key; while generally funky and sometimes quite complex, they never threaten to distract from Vanessa's seductive crooning. The songs on this album are all addressed to the late John Coltrane and make frequent lyrical and musical reference to his compositions. Daou's lyrics are sometimes inspired, but more frequently lapse into a sort of high-school Zen mentality ("Thinking of the pain/But where is the hurt?/Thinking of the air/But where is the wind?"). Elsewhere there are throwaway references to Billie Holiday, McCoy Tyner, and Thelonious Monk, references that sound more like bids for credibility than anything else. But on "A Thousand Licks" and, especially, "Deviate," Daou manages to cast a silky spell that draws you in until you stop listening so closely to the lyrics. For the most part, that's her best bet.
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AllMusic Review by Rick Anderson