Lonette McKee

Natural Love

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Lonette McKee's debut for film director Spike Lee's Columbia-distributed 40 Acres and a Mule label picks up where her 1978 Johnny Pate-produced Warner Bros. LP, Words and Music, left off, which isn't a bad thing at all. Issued on October 6, 1992, Natural Love shows that the singer/songwriter's muse knows no stylistic bounds. As with her earlier effort, McKee co-writes all of the songs while sharing production credits with Bryant McNeil, Gene Lake Jr., and labelmate Raymond Jones of State of Art. The whimsical "Watch the Birds" was the lead single. McKee flirts with hip-hop on "Dream of You." The lovely acoustic guitar-based ballad "Hiding Away" is a gem and the same form is used for the reflective and wise "Nothing Is As It Seems." The longing "What About You" could have easily fit on Words and Music. Though she recorded during the '60s in her native Detroit for Clarence Avant's Sussex label, it's on Words and Music and Natural Love that McKee comes into her own.

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