China Soul

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China Soul - Thursday 1st September 2011 at ITV Studios London, England

China Soul
David Soul and China Soul
David Soul and China Soul
China Soul
China Soul
David Soul and China Soul

China Soul, Secrets & Words Album Review


China Soul is a Florida-born, expressive voiced singer-songwriter who draws considerable inspiration from song writing greats such as Bob Dylan and Tracy Chapman. Debut album, Secrets & Words, is a release of great inconsistency which showcases China Soul's soulful and meaningful vocals in a number of musical settings; some proving great potential yet others with a disappointing lack of vibrancy.

Opener 'Cold' establishes Soul's Norah Jones meets KT Tunstall vocal tone and easy listening folk vibe as meandering vocals wander over instrumentation reminiscent of About A Boy era Badly Drawn Boy; strummed acoustic guitar, synth strings and a gentle suggestion of piano. 'What My Baby Don't Know', on the other hand, is a stomping country-blues number with banjo, vocal attitude and trombone backing. In terms of contemporary female blues vocals though, Steph Ward of Kill It Kid undoubtedly sets the benchmark and China falls a good way short; her meandering, flat song writing largely to blame. The down-tempo, emotional and swooping chorus of 'Remains Of Our Day' and later the a capella 'Be My Husband' do however evidence Soul's vocal ability and the power of her voice; the latter even glimpses her smooth head voice as well as the strong bluesy chest voice heard throughout Secrets & Words.

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