‘Stay’ is the latest album from Atlanta soulstress SHAWNDELLA. Ms S has pursued a successful session career, enjoyed some solo success and worked as part of the SMOOTH BLEND duo with Ty Juan. You may remember their ‘Couples Therapy: Session 1’ album.

Indeed Mr Juan is at the producer’s desk for ‘Stay’ and we’re told that he needed plenty of guile to get young Shawndella back into the studio. It seems she was looking for downtime after her last solo project. But persuaded she was – and good thing too since ‘Stay’ is a pleasant modern R&B/soul collection and it would be a shame for that lovely, pure voice to remain unheard.

Sonically, the 12 tracker is low key and very “American” reminding me in places of Toni Braxton’s work. Most of the cuts are modern R&B flavoured ballads (indeed the kind of thing that Ms Braxton excels at). Best of the LP’s ballads is the old school ‘He’s Never Leaving Her’ – a familiar theme in soul music… a classic scorned mistress song. ‘Babyface’ is interesting too – a tale of a relationship ignited and maintained by Babyface’s music.

‘Nobody Cares’ is the only time the tempo lifts itself above the parapet… very sedately though. However, the track currently getting the attention is ‘That Man’. Not quite a ballad; not quite a beater…. file under quirky and catchy; and, like the whole album – a lovely showcase for a lovely modern soul voice.