Deborah Coleman What About Love?
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- Released: May 25, 2004
- Label: Telarc
Living Blues - p.57"Coleman shines on the cover songs....Coleman is at her no-nonsense best."
- 1.Bad Boy
- 2.Lie No Better
- 4.Can You Hear Me?
- 5.When Will I Be Loved?
- 6.Healing Ground
- 7.The River Wild
- 8.What About Love?
- 9.Love's Like Rain
- 10.Lookin' for a Real Love
- 11.A Woman in Love
Personnel: Deborah Coleman (vocals, guitar); Deborah Coleman; Ken Clark (Hammond b-3 organ); Noel Neal (bass guitar); Hiromasa Suzuki (guitar); Per Hanson (drums).
Audio Mixer: Lincoln Clapp.
Liner Note Author: Deborah Coleman.
Recording information: UCPA, Unity, ME (11/2003).
Author: Deborah Coleman.
Photographer: Shonna Valeska.
On her seventh release after a productive five-year, five-album affiliation with Blind Pig, singer/songwriter/guitarist Deborah Coleman shifts gears slightly for her Telarc label debut. Producer Randy Labbe emphasizes Coleman's expressive voice -- sounding somewhat like a combination of Tracy Chapman and Joan Armatrading -- over her formidable guitar chops. It's a savvy move, and results in one of her most relaxed and commercial outings. Shifting from straight blues to a more laid-back (but still invigorating) R&B approach allows Coleman room to explore the previously rather limited range of her expressive velvety vocals. A cover of the Everly Brothers' chestnut "When Will I Be Loved?" refashioned as a peppy shuffle doesn't really click, but her fiery take on Delbert McClinton's "Lie No Better" -- although it pales next to Etta James' version -- effectively frames Coleman's intentions. Better still is the low-boil J.J. Cale-styled swamp of her original "The River Wild," a sensuous, peaceful, beautifully recorded and arranged instrumental with a light funk undertow that unexpectedly explodes in a raw guitar blast. The restrained yet fiery groove is prevalent throughout, kicked off by the biting original "Bad Boy." The closing "A Woman in Love," written by Bill Chinnock, captures the singer's soulful yet steely side, wrapping up a wholly successful project that effectively capitalizes on Deborah Coleman's strongest talents -- sultry vocals and short, succinct guitar solos -- and is arguably better than her previous albums that were more oriented toward blues-rock. ~ Hal Horowitz
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