REVIEW: Alice Smith “She”

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After a six-year wait, Alice Smith finally released her heavily anticipated second album, She. Time hasn’t changed her powerhouse voice which drips with soul and emotion so thick it’s almost a sin to not sing along; however, subtle changes have come with these new tracks — a slightly gentler, mellower vibe than her last album, For Lovers, Dreamers & Me. With her myriad of R&B, soul, rock, blues, jazz and funk influences, Alice Smith’s sound pleases a wide pallet of musical tastes.

Like a breath of fresh air, her graceful voice continues to be backed by talented and soulful musicians, adding tantalizing and unlimited layers of sound. Her first album was a funky mix of songs with subtle hints of influences like The Beatles, with trippy bits of backmasking and an element of experimentation such as in her song “Dreams” which brings you on a ride, culminating at the end in a slow, teasing, climax of sound leaving the listener begging for her to hit the high note.

Alice Smith 21In “Woodstock” deep bass, funky sound and clever lyrics are a pure joy, her chill and smooth vocals paint a picture of relaxation and child-like fun; indeed it makes it hard to not feel “mellow like a cello,” as her voice luxuriously sings. Likewise in her second album, we retain the soul-infused sound, but with perhaps a slightly softer, more “ballad” feel to her songs.

Once again Alice Smith impresses the keen listener by demonstrating a seemingly effortless ability as a songwriter. In her song “Fool For You” we are given a more raw sound with subtle influences of the 70s.

In contrast, “Ocean” begins with acoustic guitar, piano, and a demure and soft Smith channeling a sultry Amy Winehouse as she gently lures you into the song, before breaking into an upbeat chorus with funky bass. Alice Smith’s second album reinforces her presence as a very skillful musician and lyricist — at last appeasing her fans who have waited so long to drink up more by this soul-filled singer. We can only hope she won’t make us wait another six years to hear more of what this talented woman has to offer.