Kevyn Lettau

Simple Life

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    8
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AllMusic Review by

Kevyn Lettau joined the JVC roster with Simple Life, which was her third album overall. JVC went after NAC radio with this release, and sure enough, NAC programmers once again proved receptive to her soft, relaxed style of pop/R&B and quiet storm music. Though parts of Simple Life are on the bland side, the CD definitely has its moments. Some of the more memorable cuts range from the ballad "Miracle of Love" and the Earth, Wind & Fire-ish "Take A Look" (a commentary on homelessness in the U.S.) to a Brazilian-influenced interpretation of Joni Mitchell's "People's Parties." When Lettau embraces Brazilian rhythms, she usually takes a Rio de Janeiro-ish approach, but on "People's Parties," the rhythms are closer to the Afro-Bahian music of Salvador and Northeastern Brazil. Also noteworthy are her versions of the Yellowjackets' "Out of Town" (an angular fusion number she adds lyrics to) and Duke Ellington's "Prelude to a Kiss," which are the only tunes on the album that can honestly be called jazz. To be sure, producers Michael Shapiro and Marcel East don't do as much for Lettau as they could have--the Angelino needed someone who would have encouraged her to bring more grit and less sweetness to her performances. But despite its limitations and shortcomings, Simple Life reminded us that Lettau had potential.

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