It's hardly a surprise that the brilliant West African-born vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Abenaa was charting on Radio & Records alongside adult contemporary heavyweights like Celine Dion and Luther Vandross. Abenaa brings cachet to the format via the hits she wrote for Vanessa Williams ("The Way That You Love") and Canadian star Kim Stockwood. The best song on this stunning debut, the shimmering ballad "Song 4 U," finds the indie artist soaring into Williams' vocal ranges, convincingly portraying the emotional pain of one heart missing another. Writing poetic lyrics that talk about the universal need for love and philosophies on how to best live life ("Journey," "Simple Life"), Abenaa is more about retro-soul (including a wah-wah-styled guitar) and funk on other tracks. On these tracks, all of which feature picture-perfect hooks and are generally guitar-based, her voice is more in the soul realm of a Des'ree. Some cool gospel roots shine through on the folksy funk gem "God Made You," on which she plays the electric tremolo guitar. Abenaa seems too much of an individualist to ever sell out, but if she focused more on simple pop, there's no doubt the powers that be could make her a superstar.
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AllMusic Review by Jonathan Widran