2007 Verve Awards

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Sunday, September 23, 2007


ModMusic: Ledisi

When D'Angelo, Maxwell, Me'Shell NdegeOcello and Erykah Badu brought the neo-soul movement into the mainstream in the mid-90's, few pundits expected the renaissance to last. Rap and hip-hop had usurped the place of classic soul and R&B in the culture, and with few exceptions -- Brian McKnight, R. Kelly, Mary J. Blige, a resurgent Luther Vandross -- the sound of soul seemed destined for the garbage heap.

But a funny thing happened...neo-soul morphed and transformed itself, finding new 21st-century torchbearers in artists like Dwele, Craig David, and Musiq Soulchild. Perhaps most refreshing, female artists took the lead in this new pack: Jill Scott, Macy Gray, India.Arie, Floetry, Angie Stone and most dramatically, Alicia Keys. If anything, the field is stronger than it was fifteen years ago...and that's a very great thing.

Now with performers like Ledisi on the scene, it's possible that we could be seeing a "third wave" of neo-soul performers. Lost and Found is actually her third album (she is a ten-year veteran of the industry), but it seems like a debut...or, more specifically, an arrival. Tracks like the first single "Alright" suggest Badu and Anita Baker if they had been produced by Ben Watt; better are mid-tempo melancholies like "In The Morning" and the silky-funk of "I Tried", which wouldn't be out of place on a Brand New Heavies disc. If this is the future of neo-soul, count me in.

Watch The Video:
"Alright (Live)", Ledisi
"Blues in the Night (Live)", Ledisi
"Today (Live)", Ledisi
Download (For One Week):
"In The Morning", Ledisi
"Alright", Ledisi
"I Tried", Ledisi
Visit: Official Site, Elbo.ws, MySpace
Then Buy: Lost and Found, Ledisi

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Anonymous toonsNtunes said...

I've been diggin Ledisi since her first album. She used to just be a California local musician... but I knew it wouldn't be long before a label snaped her up. Her collabo with Miguel Migs is also awesome!

9/24/07, 9:16 AM  

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