Squarely R&B albums dominated by upbeat, clean, and energetic material seemed like a forgotten art until late 2013 and early 2014 releases from the Foreign Exchange (Love in Flying Colors) and Pharrell Williams (GIRL). Ledisi continued the upswing with The Truth, her fifth Verve album. As with those preceding albums, The Truth is certainly informed by the past but sounds contemporary; even more vibrant than her own Turn Me Loose but not as rooted in early- to mid-'70s funk and soul. The memories it triggers are more likely to be connected to a period when danceable R&B songs were termed grooves rather than bangers, yet the grooves here -- like "I Blame You," "Rock with You," and, to a slightly lesser extent, "Missy Doubt" -- pack as much sophisticated retro-modern might as Beyoncé's "Love on Top" or Ne-Yo's "Champagne Life." Additionally, "That Good Good" and "Anything," both driven by heavy drums rather than basslines and more in line with urban contemporary radio, don't sound out of place, with Ledisi at full power. She puts just as much of herself into the few commanding ballads, proclaiming "I don't even ask/I'm the best you ever had" in the ace slow jam "Lose Control" and marveling "My life, it went from years to 88 boxes" in the separation wailer "88 Boxes." Succinct, consistent, vibrant, and all Ledisi all the time -- there are no guest appearances -- this is one of the singer and songwriter's best releases.
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AllMusic Review by Andy Kellman