HONEY BROWN: Honey Brown (Label: Platinum Rush Music)

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HONEY BROWN: Honey Brown

Eddie Kendricks’ fans will know Honey Brown as one of the Thin Man’s solo cuts, but this Honey Brown operates out of, I think, Atlanta and this eponymous album is currently available through CD Baby and other internet outlets. If you seek it out you’ll discover a very decent indie set that sits right on the cusp of street R&B and modern soul – genre demarcations that seem to divide UK soul people, but which may mean little Stateside, where almost all non-jazz and non-gospel black music is branded “R&B”. That said the big attraction of this album is Honey Brown’s wonderful vocals. It would be easy to describe her voice as sweet and smooth – and in places it is, but it also has real passion and strength, tempered with the purest high octave falsetto that recalls Minnie Riperton. Hear that soaring attack on a version of Roger Troutman’s ‘Go On Without You’ – a great old school soul ballad made more authentic with some fine Hammond playing. ‘Never Again’ is another fine ballad while Tony Ozier’s ‘Up In The Air’ offers some interesting instrumentation. For those who want to dance, there are lots on offer. Best cut for the modern room brigade is the hugely optimistic ‘Feeling Good’. Lightweight, maybe, it has the feel of those great Sunshine Anderson/Koffee Brown anthems from a few years back. ‘Co-Star’ is good too, if a little more sedate while the R&B brigade will connect more with ‘The Sound Of Flirting’ – clearly based on Beyonce’s ‘Crazy In Love’, that one. ‘Hot Daddy’ is another take on street R&B with a rap from John Que while ‘Ghetto Story’ offers a snapshot of urban life. That one comes in two mixes with the rap-less opener offering more passion… and it’s passion that defines this album. Honey Brown has it in abundance and soul seekers (old and new) will find plenty to satisfy here.
(BB) 3/5