Various Artists

Nu Soul Spirit

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Nu Soul Spirit is a collection of modern soul songs as performed by some of the most popular artists of the late '90s. This compilation is quite interesting, as soul music had only begun to re-emerge as of the time of the release. Although it never quite went away, in the hands of Erykah Badu, Nubians, and others it is definitely far more hip-hop- and rap-influenced than it once was. Nowhere is this more apparent than on India Arie's wonderful "Video," which is a story song that takes on the cadence of rap but the vocal delivery of classic soul. Other highlights include Angie Stone's fragile ode to crying, "No More Rain (In This Cloud)," and D'Angelo's Prince-influenced slow-grinding "How Does It Feel." The soul scene received a good shot in the arm when many of these artists came around, and this album is just more proof of their quality and dedication.

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