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The Colored Section

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Album Review

What a marvelously audacious introduction The Colored Section is. Emerging from the same Jazz Café-centered alternative Atlanta soul scene that nourished and nurtured fellow hippie-soul singer/songwriters like Joi and India.Arie all the way into the public consciousness, Donnie's first LP is a topical, unapologetically conscientious, and even righteously stinging declaration that, yes, can only be likened to the classic sociopolitical masterworks of spiritual predecessors Donny Hathaway and especially Stevie Wonder. Songs like "Cloud 9" and "Wildlife," in fact, may be too indebted to genius-era Wonder — the former with its wah-wah guitar and warm gusts of squelchy synth vibrato, the latter with its prominent clavinet and crisp harmonica ad-libs — but are such stunning vintage impersonations that both easily could have slipped somewhere onto Innervisions. No matter from which angle you choose to approach such a statement, it couldn't really be taken as a criticism, nor should it be with The Colored Section. The music is consistently empowered and empowering: gracefully buttery, always deeply moving, and at its core profoundly idealistic. Generous melodies abound, rising from a gospel-derived groundwork, spun around street-tinged jazz rhythms, and enlivened by wonderful touches of humor like the Dixie frills of "Big Black Buck" that underscore an otherwise valuable criticism of consumerist society. And lest Donnie be dismissed as an imitator (a studied, well-versed disciple clearly, yes, but certainly not a clone), he explores a wealth of his own refreshingly original ideas, stretching out with genuine invention (the gorgeous cosmic explorations of "Heaven Sent," the jittery electronic backdrop of "Masterplan") as often as he reaches backwards into retro styles (invigorating bossa nova on "Do You Know?," the romantic, Baroque string arrangement of "Turn Around"). It is as bold and self-assured a debut as soul music has seen since D'Angelo's Brown Sugar. It falls just short of brilliance only because it borrows a few tricks too many from its obvious musical models, but even with its flaws, the album is such a vivid, radiant outpouring of soul-stirring talent and passion that it could fill two hearts.

Customer Reviews

The world is not ready for this..

Sad to say that with the direction music is going today, the world could never appreciate an album this wonderful. This is definitely a work of art; my hat goes off to artist who still know what REAL music is and Donnie is definitely one of those artist. Where did music go wrong..

1 of the best in the last 5 years

This is a must buy!!! One of my personal favs.

"the colored section" by donnie

i just discovered this album and not a second too late. it has been at the top of my playlist ever since. this beautiful man not only has a great voice and a great soundtrack, but he has something new and refreshing to say... something that can not be overlooked. his style is popular enough and hip enough for the radio, but the radio airplay is too common for such a talent. truly divine. remember those music artists you've seen in concert, at a local venue or perhaps a friend handed you their cd and you felt that they belonged to you and only you. and NOW that artist is someone like jill scott, alicia keys, dave matthews, alanis, fiona or whoever...? discover donnie and you'll question how you ever lived without him. much love to you donnie, we await your next arrival.


Born: Lexington, KY

Genre: R&B/Soul

Years Active: '00s

The smooth style of modern day soul singer Donnie is comparable to such other similar sounding artists as Macy Gray, Jill Scott, Seal, and Maxwell. Born in Lexington, Kentucky during the mid '70s, Donnie was raised in Atlanta, Georgia, and came from a very religious family (both of his parents were ministers). Singing for a choir at an early age, Donnie soon expanded his musical horizons, as he became influenced equally by such gospel artists as Walter Hawkins and Mahalia Jackson plus such soul/R...
Full Bio
The Colored Section, Donnie
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  • $5.99
  • Genres: R&B/Soul, Music, Neo-Soul, Soul
  • Released: May 20, 2003

Customer Ratings