In the past year or so, there have been a few female R&B singers who”ve put out quality albums. Right now I”m thinking about Amel Larrieux, Jill Scott and Erykah Badu. What made them special was they didn”t have someone with the last name Jerkins producing their tracks and, for the most part, their lyrics were far and away better than anything out at the time. With her debut Acoustic Soul, India.Aire tries to join this club and does.

Paul Wong
Kyle Chandler and Joan Cusack are too cute for TV in ABC”s “”About Joan.”” Awwwww.<br><br>Courtesy of ABC

To my surprise, India”s first single, “Video,” is receiving a decent amount of attention. Maybe because it sounds like Akinyele”s “Put It In Your Mouth.” Erykah Badu did this with the “Bag Lady” remix by using Dr. Dre”s “Xxplosive.” My hope is that people don”t sleep on the lyrics like a lot of us did on “Bag Lady.”

“Video” is India”s affirmation of self. Basically, she takes on the portrayal of women and life found in music videos. You can sum up her feelings with this line: “Don”t need your silicone, I prefer my own. What God gave me is just fine.”

“Back To The Middle” spells out the trials and tribulations of two people who wind up going to extremes in order to accomplish their goals. In reality, they need to take a step back and see whether or not what they”ve done is necessarily all good. It”s a simple premise but still worth saying and hearing.

The 16-track album concludes with a tribute to Motown legend Stevie Wonder called, of all things, “Wonderful.” India professes her love for Wonder”s music by including a number of his song titles in her lyrics.

Although it”s not the most creative track on the disc, India still gets respect for honoring one of music”s finest.

Given my take on the current state of popular music, R&B in particular, I”m always glad when I hear someone who stands out from the crowd. India.Aire writes for herself and even plays acoustic guitar on the album.

If you can knock her for anything it is that she can be too preachy or even a little self-righteous at times.

If you can forgive her for that or see where she may have a point, you”ll probably think this is a strong debut from someone we”ll hopefully hear a lot from in the years to come.

Acoustic Soul, India.Aire Motown Records

Grade: B+

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