03 April 2006

things you told me about : part 2

i'm confessin' : lizz wright
click here or on the image below to listen

Melt your heart with this song from the 26-year-old R&B/jazz artist from Georgia. That makes her only a year or so older than Britney, Christina and Beyoncé, but the maturity she exudes is far beyond her years. Lizz puts my pants on fire better than Norah Jones does. If she got any sexier, I woud probably spontaneously combust. She does it for me in a slow, subtle way. Her music is romantic, not provocative; refined, not vain; elegant; not risqué unlike the chart-topping R&B artists her age. I know I'm not making the right comparisons here, but that's partly the point. If you're a 20-something African-American female artist, you either hard-sell sex to get to the charts, or be a jazz vocalist, or carve a niche in some fusion of gospel and R&B. And if you choose the latter routes, then you're going to have a high benchmark, being measured against legends such as Cassandra Wilson or Dianne Reeves. And that's exactly what I'm doing, wondering whether Lizz will have the longevity and reach the status of the two women just mentioned, or fade into obscurity, or sell out. Vocally, she's neither strong nor original, but she has that X factor. Anyway, this is I'm Confessin' from her 2005 album Dreaming Wide Awake. It's got five stars on iTunes' customer ranking (plus the album is critically acclaimed) so she's doing something right.

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