SYMPLI WHITNEY is the soul singing alter ego of Whitney Marshall who hails from Springfield Massachusetts. She found her performing feat fronting a band called The Big Bang but put that career on hold when, then joined the Army! Invalided out with an honourable discharge in 2006, she worked for an MBA in healthcare administration while performing with local bands. Then in November 2012 she struck out as Sympli Whitney and after starring in BET’s Apollo Live talent show she’s now promoting her latest album…. ‘Ryze Of The Phoenix’.
Ms Whitney has a powerful, old school soul voice that shows its versatility on an enjoyable and proper, grown-up soul album. The general overall soundscape of ‘Ryze’ is languid and laid back , jazzy in places – with many of the tracks aiming squarely at Quiet Strom radio programming. That tone is set with the opening ‘ 7 Days A Week’ …. lazy and semi-spoken, it’s perfect late night fare. ‘Hello’ (not the Lionel Richie song) and I’d Rather Say Good Morning’ offering more of the same.
The more up-tempo tunes include the bumpy ‘The Best’ and the urgent ‘Swept Away’ which strays into house territory. The modern soul crowd who scan these indie soul sets for dance fodder will enjoy ‘Weekend Thang’ and ‘Work It Out’. The former has decent dance beats and though it might appear to advocate “c’mon have a great weekend”, it’s actually an “other woman” kind of thing… she doesn’t want to be just a “weekend thang”.. who can blame her! The latter is less complex…a great 80s weekender throwback.
Album highlight though is the gentler ‘I Can See You And Me’ . Wisely chosen as the lead single, it’s a peach of a melody and it allows Ms Marshall/Whitney to show what she can do… a great little head-nodder and like the rest of the LP, proper grown-up music.