11 Songs, 34 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Nicole Wray finally gets the retro-soul triumph her golden vocals deserve. The former Missy Elliott protégé’s career has regularly been interrupted by false starts and bad luck but a voice this versatile and powerful can’t stay hidden forever. Buzzing guitars, punchy percussion, and a stately hook lace “Do It Again” with grit and optimism to match her indefatigable spirit, while the rhythmic invention of tracks such as “Cut Me Loose” ensures this is much more than simple pastiche.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Nicole Wray finally gets the retro-soul triumph her golden vocals deserve. The former Missy Elliott protégé’s career has regularly been interrupted by false starts and bad luck but a voice this versatile and powerful can’t stay hidden forever. Buzzing guitars, punchy percussion, and a stately hook lace “Do It Again” with grit and optimism to match her indefatigable spirit, while the rhythmic invention of tracks such as “Cut Me Loose” ensures this is much more than simple pastiche.

TITLE TIME
2:59
3:59
3:19
3:34
2:17
2:24
3:27
2:39
3:53
2:43
3:39

About Lady Wray

Lady Wray represented another chapter in the winding career of R&B vocalist and songwriter Nicole Wray. The Virginia-raised singer made her professional debut through a featured spot on "Gettaway," off Missy Elliott's platinum breakthrough Supa Dupa Fly (1997). It led to a solo deal that peaked with the Elliott-written, Timbaland-produced "Make It Hot" (1998), a number two Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop hit. As she continued to appear on tracks by other artists, including Elliott's "All N My Grill," Kelis' "Wouldn't You Agree," and Cam'ron's "Family Ties," Wray recorded two solo albums that were shelved, including one for Roc-A-Fella. After she took part in the one-off Blackroc project beside the likes of Mos Def, RZA, and the Black Keys, she released the independent album Boss B*tch (2010) and a batch of digital singles. A little later, Wray united with Terri Walker as Lady, a duo who released a self-titled album (2013) inspired by late-'60s and early-'70s soul. Despite a warm reception, Walker split, but Wray -- whose voice had become richer and a little grittier since her early years, ideal for vintage-sounding instrumental backdrops -- continued to perform the material. Under the name Lady Wray, she went on to record another throwback-oriented full-length, Queen Alone (2016), with some of the same musicians who worked on Lady, including Leon Michels and Thomas Brenneck. The album was released on Michels' Big Crown label. ~ Andy Kellman

  • ORIGIN
    Salinas, CA
  • GENRE
    Soul
  • BORN
    May 2, 1979

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