Leela James – Let’s Do It Again

The question of doing any old school covers of rhythm & blues – jazz, live musical renditions & playbacks of your favorites from a new generation of singers is easily a compliment under radar awaiting an answer. Music listeners will scope out the new material & wonder if…, really,… wonder if those talented starbucks of today REALLY are in deep interest to sing or instrumentally soundproof. Being soulful in the reproductions of their choice. Intact with feelings & emotions that ties in to what was done back in the day & hopefully felt by us – the reviewers, music fans & connoisseurs. Magazines, Newspapers, Online Pubs & Music Resources.

Track Listing:
~ Clean Up Woman
~ Miss You
~ It’s A Man’s, Man’s, Man’s World (*Listen to it on The R&B/Soul Page!)
~ Baby I’m Scared Of You
~ You Know How To Love Me
~ I Want To Know What Love Is
~ Nobody Wants You When You’re Down & Out
~ I Try
~ I’d Rather Be With You
~ Simply Beautiful
~ Let’s Do It Again

The last time I heard the voice of Ms. Leela James in “A Change is Gonna Come” (1st album), I heard an overshadow of some of the most fancy, vocally artistic footworks from our last predecessors of Female soul music songbirds in history. A fine literature or poetry of undeniable captivation which would mark the plenthoric history of some of the greatest female singers to ever touch face upon the scene. I don’t have to name them. You all know who I am presenting through imaginary thought. Yet, Leela’s passion drawn against the landscape of music she chose to sing for her album, “Let’s Do It Again”, simply made the truth come back to bless us. Her choice was to sing ‘Real Music’, feel the energy of a ‘real band’, which equates to transforming raw emotion into her interpretation for ‘real music’ – something for the fans of the old & new generation to appreciate & relate to all over again.

Some of the many names remembered through Leela’s selections, like Betty Wright, Angela Bofill & Phyllis Hyman, instantly became a striking mix of fine compositions Ms. James decidedly orchestrated on disc. “Clean Up Woman” (one of my all time favorites), “You Know How To Love Me” & “Miss You” – a hot piece of furniture used from The Classic group – The Rolling Stones – suggests these songs were not commonly selected covers. In a matter of fact, “Baby I’m Scared Of You” by Womack & Womack in contrast was quite tasty, only recognized by listeners like myself who traveled the classic zone of the latter years before time to identify it.

A strength of the action in overall band participation is what carried the exciting old school flavor of Leela’s new music. Song by song, without losing momentum. Some tracks do draw the comparison questions in covers reproduced by either asking, ‘Did you like Leela’s version better or the original?’ or ‘Did Leela tried too hard & fail?’.

She won actually.

Its a challenge folks whenever any new generational singer(s) step up to re-cover a classic. It could easily become something too much to chew on, if you will, or it may become ‘something special’ – leaving instant gratification. Instant renewed status with an extra brownie point for making such an attempt on recreating musical tradition.

My recommendation is yes & ready for immediate pick up. Next time though, I would like to see some original music from Ms. James. This was only her sophomore effort, from Shanachie Records. Way too soon to make a full album of R&B covers & not enough ‘original-concept’ albums done before. However for now, this album will do.

The Urban Music Scene

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