Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Music: Hil St. Soul - SOULidified

On SOULidified Hil St. Soul's third recording, and the follow-up to last year's acclaimed US Shanachie debut Copasetik & Cool, Hilary Mwelwa emerges as one of the most gifted young R&B singer/songwriters in recent years. SOULidified serves up 14- head-nodding tracks with infectious grooves, poetic and self-empowering lyrics and Hilary Mwelwa’s soulful, sensuous and hypnotic trademark vocals.

Blessed with an intensely rich, soul-drenched and honey-toned alto and armed with serious lyrical and compositional sensibilities, SOULidified showcases Hilary Mwelwa’s powerful chops and soul stirring, ultra smooth gospel-laden vocals that beg to be heard. Hilary shares,"Hil St. Soul is an amalgamation of all the music that has influenced me throughout the years, from soul and R&B to hip hop, jazz, blues and gospel."

Highlights on SOULidified include the steamy and sexy duo with Dwele, Baby Come Over, the endearing and catchy Sweet On You, the soulful and inviting Hey Boy and the strikingly beautiful, pensive and emotional ballad Goodbye. Also included are such feel-good and uplifting numbers as It's OK and Time 4 Love (Relax). In a market overcrowded with vanishing one hit wonders, Hil St. Soul delivers the kind of music that promises to stand the test of time. Hilary, who enjoys cooking and interior decorating during her spare time confides, "All of the songs on my new CD are originals that I have developed over the past year that have been inspired by personal experiences. It's been a therapeutic and enjoyable process. Writing this album has allowed me the freedom to express myself and I am proud of the result."

When Hil St. Soul's Hilary Mwelwa hit Philadelphia for one of her first shows in America last year, she was met by an enthusiastic crowd shouting requests for her to sing Aretha Franklin's Until You Come Back to Me, which was featured on
Soul Organic her first import-only album. "Well, the band didn't learn that one," replied Hilary, "But I'll sing it for you anyway." She then sang a spontaneous, note-perfect a capella version of the song, to the audience's great delight. In that single moment she won over the crowd. After all, how many singers around can sing perfectly on demand? And that's what Hil St. Soul is all about: delivering soulful, straight-from-the-heart music without gimmicks, or pointless vocal gymnastics.

Hil St. Soul:

April 18, 2006

1 comment:

Butterfly Jones said...

Nice to see this review of Hils new album (released on my birthday), I know her pretty well and not only is she a great singer, but she's a really lovely girl.