Samantha James – Rise

Samantha James - Rise (2007)

Samantha James - Rise (2007)

When I found out that this was Samantha James’ first album, it was a bit of a shock, but also an affirmation that when someone is this committed to music, you can easily tell by the passion and effort that most of these songs have.

It was a bit of a shock because this is a professional record.  No rough edges, no fillers, everything seems to have a purpose.  And that unity, that vision to create this unified concept is what I liked the most.  Actually, if you think about it, that is one of the advantages that you get when you do compose your own songs, you get the chance to create a collection of songs sharing very similar characteristics.

This album has a particular emphasis on evoking a good vibe through rhythmic tunes, an almost latin feeling in some of the songs, without losing the notion that this is a pop album influenced by some electronic beats here and there.  Fortunately this does not become a non-stop festival from start to finish, as we are granted some more chilled songs in between, and the result is a very well-balanced yet charged album.

Exotic, lush and inciting tunes is something that Mrs. James does brilliantly.  Enchanted Life became one of my favorite songs almost from the beginning.  Her voice and the rhythm are just so well-balanced here, it shouts perfection all the way through.  I Found You is another good example.

If the exotic vibe is not your cup of tea, you can always rely on songs like Angel Love, Deep Surprise, Rain or even the incredibly smooth Right Now, this last one being a completely different category, belonging more into a trip hop record.  It is a tough decision to pick a favorite from these.

Being a helpless fan of the female vocalists genre, this is a definite must have in my book.  Not only for the incredible songwriting skills shown here, and also not only for the very high production values found here, but for the combination of both.  Great songs alone usually are lost if the means are not there to support them, and also production values applied into mediocre songs produce mediocre albums. 

This however, is one of those times when happily for us, both things were done the right way.  I still haven’t got the chance to listen to Subconscious, the latest album from Samantha James, but judging from what I know so far, I’m already looking forward to it.

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