If a person had to name all of the white female singer/songwriters who have been influenced by R&B, he/she would be putting together a very long list -- one that would range from Carole King, Bonnie Raitt, and Natalie Merchant to more recent arrivals such as Amber deLaurentis, Sam Shaber, Shana Morrison (Van Morrison's daughter), and Marly Hornik. Like those artists, Lisa Madison isn't an R&B singer per se but is definitely soul-influenced -- and that appreciation of R&B often asserts itself on Kiss the Sun. That isn't to say that Madison, who has a sweet, clear sort of voice, will win over any urban contemporary stations with this CD; an urban programmer would likely conclude (rightly so) that Madison is basically a pop-folk/adult alternative singer and not a hardcore R&B singer à la Alicia Keyes or Mary J. Blige. But like King, Raitt, and Joan Armatrading -- three of her influences -- Madison obviously realizes that pop singing can still be soulful. And those R&B overtones serve her fairly well on "Take a Chance," "I'm Comin'," and other selections. Not all of Madison's pop and pop-folk offerings are R&B-influenced, but many of them are. Madison isn't the sort of singer/songwriter who insists on doing all of the writing herself; though she co-wrote several of the songs, she had a lot of help from other songwriters, who include Jerry Stucker (the CD's producer) and Ron Romero (who is listed as executive producer and helps Stucker with the arrangements). And she isn't one to exclude covers; one of the best things on the album is a remake of John Lennon's "Imagine." Kiss the Sun falls short of exceptional, but it's a decent, sincere outing and indicates that Madison is well worth keeping an eye on.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Alex Henderson