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Music In My Soul

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Album Review

Leigh Jones has been quoted as saying that along the way, she encountered various producers who didn't see her the way she saw herself. One producer, according to Jones, envisioned her as an alternative rock singer; others wanted her to emulate Britney Spears. But listening to her promising debut album, Music in My Soul, it isn't hard to figure out what really makes Jones tick: she is a jazzy neo-soul singer along the lines of Jill Scott and Erykah Badu (with hints of Teena Marie at times). R&B is the main ingredient on this 2008 release, but jazz is definitely an influence on memorable tracks such as "Sick of Fools," "Same Game," "Cold in L.A.," and "Music." And even though Music in My Soul isn't jazz per se, Jones clearly has a healthy appreciation of jazz and has the vocal chops to record a straight-ahead jazz album should she ever decide to do so. But then, one hopes the expressive Jones will always have a strong R&B connection because R&B works pleasingly well for her; it's a good thing she didn't let anyone turn her into a knee-jerk Britney Spears clone. Most of the songs on this 49-minute CD were co-produced by Kerry Gordy, son of Motown Records founder Berry Gordy; an exception is Jones' cover of DeBarge's 1980s hit "All My Love," which is the album's least memorable track and sounds like it was recorded with smooth jazz/NAC radio stations in mind. Unlike the rest of the disc, Jones' "All My Love" cover comes across as somewhat mechanical. But most of Jones' performances on Music in My Soul sound genuinely heartfelt, and 90 percent of the time, this is an excellent debut from the Los Angeles-based neo-soul singer.

Music In My Soul, Leigh Jones
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