DJ Cam

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The realm of polite art pop takes many forms and changes with the years, as what was once outré or simply too pop becomes another generation's reference points. InLove's debut album, being the vocal work of the titular artist with the production of DJ Cam on the musical front, is something that reminds a listener, almost with a start, that the innovations of the 1990s in R&B and electronic production are simply just a part of the tool kit now, whether it's subharmonic bass, stuttered vocal clips, or any number of similar touches. Calling a song "For Minnie Riperton" is its own fine staking out of a space, meanwhile -- InLove's singing definitely has elements of her high-pitched, breathy passion, all while the stark, hollow smack of the drums works against the gentle piano flow of the main arrangement. It's a contrast that plays out throughout the album -- if not a new approach by any means (as any number of performers like Erykah Badu, Kelis, and Jill Scott have all demonstrated -- and little doubt she's got them all in her collection), it's handled well enough here. Bursts of quicker energy like "Winter in New York" allow her to fire things up further, while the treatment of Dusty Springfield's "The Look of Love," if it can't top the original, is still a treat. (Though "Rock with You," title resemblance aside, is not a Michael Jackson rework.) "Fight," meanwhile, might be the gentlest take on the sentiments of the Wailers' "Get Up Stand Up" around while still retaining some of the punch and heft of the original, in feel if not in exact sound thanks to the creeped-out strings and spare beats.

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