House vocalist Lisa Shaw steps out with a decent sophomore album with a few nice surprises.
Serving as Naked Music’s resident soulstress for well over a decade, as well as appearing on seminal releases from Om and Ministry of Sound, Lisa Shaw’s airy, seductive vocals have been integral in shaping the more soulful strands of the modern house sound. The comparisons to Sade or Tracy Thorn are unavoidable—her delivery is effortlessly smooth, dripping with a subdued atmosphere that often hints at melancholy. On her second solo outing, Shaw ventures outside of her primary role as a deep house muse and embraces all tempos, serving up as many relaxed R&B cuts as there are dance anthems. Regardless of BPM, the album sits nicely as a backdrop to a couple cocktails amidst chic attire. While some of the production sounds a tad uninspired, everything has been polished and refined enough to be considered, at worst, pleasantly innocuous. Free does showcase a nice degree of crossover talent, but she still tends to shine brightest atop a grown and sexy 4/4 rhythm. Tracks such “Can You See Him” and “Find the Way,” should give long time fans just enough depth to lose themselves out on the dance floor once more.
File under: Miguel Migs, Marques Wyatt, Everything But the Girl
as featured in Issue 26