Soul Eyes was a poised, no-frills introduction to an artist with obvious potential for merging soul and jazz conventions with modern style. Kandace Springs' second album is a measured advancement from that 2016 release. Produced almost exclusively by Karriem Riggins, who for 25 years has illuminated recordings that land everywhere on the traditional-to-progressive spectrum, Indigo evinces Springs' versatility with a little more color. As with Soul Eyes, the material blends interpretations and originals. Here, Springs is more directly involved, co-writing all but one of the new songs, including a touching finale with father Scat Springs and a handful with executive producers and earliest non-familial advocates Evan Rogers and Carl Sturken. The best of the four Rogers-Sturken collaborations is a tie between the two in which Springs sings of being killed slowly by a lover (a heartstruck sentiment felt elsewhere): "Piece of Me," liable to be confused for a dead-on Everything But the Girl or Sade cover, and "Fix Me," a graceful swoon with an embedded Prince reference. When admirer Prince hosted Springs at Paisley Park for the 30th anniversary of Purple Rain, he requested that she play "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face," the Ewan MacColl ballad Roberta Flack took to another level. It's the earliest composition here, freshened with Springs' smoldering voice effectively cloaking the instrumentation instead of shooting through it. Another classic, Thom Bell and Linda Creed's "People Make the World Go 'Round," is freshened by Springs with help from Nicholas Payton on bass, electric piano, and slinky-subtle chord reharmonization. Springs still thrives with stark backdrops, most evident on covers of the contemporary "6 8" (Gabriel Garzón-Montano) and "Black Orchid" (Jesse Harris), both master classes in restraint. Indigo doesn't have a proper title track, but a pair of title interludes tantalize over a combined duration of one minute. Among the album's simplest and most fascinating moments, these segments of hip-hop noir -- with Springs accompanying herself on piano and Riggins the lone aid on drums and bass -- provide ample proof that the duo should continue to work together.
AllMusic Review by Andy Kellman