DORION JAMES: Change The Game (Label: Tate Music)

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DORION JAMES: Change The Game

Dorion James is a young Atlanta-based singer who debuted last summer with a three track EP. That mini set revealed a decent voice and an ambition still undecided. The music there – and on this album – sits right on the cusp of R&B and modern soul and therein lies a marketing problem. The dominant R&B stations might well shy away because of the soul content and what soul stations exist might be wary of the more obvious, street R&B flavours. That’s all compounded by the fact that young Dorion records for a small, indie label and while even the major labels struggle, life for people like Dorion James becomes that much more difficult. That said the album’s not that bad and some of the more overt R&B cuts are every bit as good as the stuff coming from the big-name production houses. ‘Stop Knockin” and ‘Practise What You Preach’ are both very good of their kind – both bursting with a contemporary R&B urgency and if credited to some one like Usher or R. Kelly they would be all over the airwaves. Speaking of Mr. Kelly, by the way, James offers a song called ‘She’s Got That Vibe’… its not the Kelly tune, but very, very catchy in its own right. The cuts that will appeal more to the soul fraternity include two of the tunes that formed the core of the singer’s first E.P. – ‘Nice And Slow (a lilting, gentle groove) and ‘What’s Missing’ (very melodic). The big tune, or so it seems (‘cos it comes in two versions) is ‘What’s It Gon’ Be’ which (in its original incarnation) kicks in with that catchy Mary J Blige ‘Family Affair’ opening riff. At the risk of repetition, it really is every bit as good as anything from the major players… it just needs that little something to help it get away. You can investigate via the usual internet outlets or go to
(BB) 3/5