Abby Dobson -][- SLEEPING BEAUTY -(MP3)- [LadyBraveBird Music, 2010] Album Review
I just love it when music unfolds in surprising ways, sometimes you discover it and there are times it finds you. With that said, meeting vocalist and songwriter Abby Dobson for the first time I’m moved by the lyrical and audible concept she unleashes on her thought-provoking debut album “Sleeping Beauty” (you are the one you have been waiting on) – Volumood One … is definitely one to cherish for years to come.
What I found amazing about the extraordinary Abby Dobson, she’s not only tremendously gifted song writer, and talented vocalist she’s also very difficult to pigeonhole. And why would I want to do that? On “Sleeping Beauty” she stirs up a persuasive blend of soul, reggae, jazz, gospel and even country to enrich the lives and souls of anyone that loves to surround their busy days with great music.
The opening piece “Cool Rain” A Prelude for Horns composed by Dobson literally rocked my world. This instrumental jewel features the horn section that accompanied R&B vocalist Maxwell during his Blacksummersnight Tour. “Cool Rain” features a dynamic threesome Kenneth Whalum III on saxophone, Keyon Harold on trumpet and Saunders Sermon on trombone are at the top of their game and recorded this gem at The Magic Shop in New York City.
Abby garnered some top-tier players to this soulful yet impeccable recording, the accomplish Robert Glasper is onboard to infuse his exceptional talent on this gorgeous project. “I’m Drowin’,” the first vocal selection draws conceptually from the authenticity of her rich and vibrant heritage where soul meets reggae is the stepping stone to a lyrically amazing journey by the songstress.
The Kingston, Jamaica born artist doesn’t disappoint with songs like “Didn’t Know You’d Be The One” kicks into gear featuring guitarist Shelton Garner. His riveting slide-guitar riff invites this stellar cast of musicians into tastefully engaging romp is raw and fierce funk groove.
The soulful “Still Alive” is a tribute to the legendary Stevie Wonder is also a collaborative effort with guitarist Christian Ver Halen. Abby’s evocative and attractive tone courts with the influences of when singers crooned and moan from the back porch echoing their heartfelt pain into the fields and eventually looms at the steps of the church house nearby.
In the meantime, this canvas of unforgettable songs co-written with various artists on the project unwinds with the endearing combination of Abby’s torrential voice and inseparable lyrical intonation leaves no stones unturned. The octaves of her voice penetrates through the fabric of each note particularly on “Unconditionally” a duet punctuated by the artistry of Robert Glasper on piano is simply timeless. This song was co-authored with Stephanie Salzman, a songwriter who pen songs for the incomparable Whitney Houston.
Blending meaningful lyrics and flawless instrumentation brings back memories of when artist of Abby’s caliber were models to inspire younger artists to adore, mimic, and develop their own style. With each lingering note “Sleeping Beauty” unveils Dobson’s obsession to come clean with unyielding passion to pour out her heart and soul with palpable joy and pain without regret is mesmerizing.
Abby Dobson declares, “Everyone is born with a purpose and through the course of life, we all have to find that purpose then fight like mad to live within it.” Song by song, note by note Abby Dobson is absolutely on point. No stranger in the music business, you can’t help but get the feeling that she’s at a pivotal point on this glorious journey is why her spellbinding debut has manifested itself in a way few can actually realize.
As I listen and re-listen to “Sleeping Beauty,” my soul is beckon by the elegance, beauty and soul of this enchanting songstress. I hear a voice torn by the lyrically challenging nuances of life relived through the testimony of the heart, voice, and spirit of Abby Dobson. If you haven’t heard or picked up any vocal albums lately “Sleeping Beauty” should be on the top of your list. —Rob Young | Reviewer