I first noticed Alison David as the singer/co-writer (together with Ashley Beedle & Marc Woolford of Black Science Orchestra fame) in 1999 when her voice graced the feel-good-song Sunshine on Afro Art. Numerous appearances as featured vocalist followed like on Feel Alright by the Problem Kids or Runaway Love by Reset. In 2000 Alison finally released her first solo record, The Last Look EP on Bitasweet Records. Skip a few years were she collaborated with the likes of Adam Freeland or Orin Walters and Mark De Clive-Lowe on Now Or Never and she finally has released her own full length album.
Like you may have guessed from Alison’s numerous guest appearences she isn’t limited to a certain music genre. In fact, her debut Believe is hard to pigeonhole and that’s what makes it so interesting. Alison takes you on a discovery tour into her musical world with her own blend of acoustic soul, neo soul, electro, downtempo, breakbeat and her personal lyrics.
Soul music fans will instantly like the folk-soul of I’m Gonna Find U (Bedroom Version), which finds Alison yearning for her soulmate accompanied by acoustic guitar. On The Way is another fine example that shows how much an acoustic song (again just a guitar and Alison’s voice) with thought provoking lyrics suits Alison. She also knows how to impress with just a piano on All We Really Want.
My God can best described as Alison’s interpretation of neo soul. With warm keys and Alison delivering a fine vocal performance this is one of my favourite songs on this album.
Another winner for soul music lovers is the groovy and hypnotic Keep Shining Like A Star.
Other inspiring songs include the jazz-breakbeat hybrid groove of 1 Last Look, the funky Really Doesn’t Matter with its hip-hop influenced beats or Alison’s collaboration with De Clive-Lowe and Dolby, the driving Respect 2 Hold On.
I must admit there are a few song that needed repeated listenings to get into like the downtempo Dreams Come True, which was also released as a single with remixes by the Afronaughts, Through The Rain or Til The End Of Time. But then these songs just show how versatile Alison’s music is and thus fit perfectly into the concept of the album Believe.
All in all a very promising and musical diverse debut album by Alison David with many strong songs.
Tracklisting of Believe: 1. All We Really Want/ 2. Through The Rain/ 3. I’m Gonna Find U (Bedroom Version)/ 4. Dreams Come True/ 5. Really Doesn’t Matter/ 6. On The Way/ 7. My God/ 8. Respect 2 Hold On/ 9. Til The End Of Time/ 10. Keep Shining Like A Star/ 11. 1 Last Look | released 2004 Alison David/No Limit
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