Nedelle Torrisi

Republic of Two

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On the first listen to Republic of Two you find a subtle soul debut. Republic of Two is more than just a new soul record. Nedelle -- or Nedelle Torrisi -- presents a record that touches on soul, jazz, bossa nova, funk, and rock. In covering that many styles, most artists would force the fact that they are showcasing these styles. Nedelle performs these in a consistent manner, keeping the record interesting, whether it be the funk of "Come Around," the blues of "I Lied," the bossa feel of "Lament," or the light rock/funk of "Too Late." The song construction is interesting, but the focus here is on the vocals. Nedelle has a wonderful, slow vibrato, giving her the feel of an indie Sade or a less-produced Nikka Costa. The charm of Republic of Two comes from the intimate nature of the recording and the length. Her voice is direct and heartfelt in the intimate setting of the light music; it leaves the listener wondering at times why she felt the need to provide backing vocals that may take away from the intimacy. Nedelle knows when to end a track, not letting a groove get overdone. The second half of the record is not as strong as the first, but the fact that the record clocks in at 24 minutes doesn't take away from the success of the record as a whole. Nedelle's Republic of Two is a memorable first effort.

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