JULIE DEXTER; New Again; (Ketch A Vibe)


Julie Dexter was born in Birmingham, England and enjoyed a classical music education which led her to work with Jazz Jamaica and Courtney Pine. In 1999 she relocated to Atlanta and was soon immersed in the Georgia city’s nu/neo soul scene. She debuted with a locally acclaimed EP that showed her soul/jazz/dance credentials and two studio albums further enhanced her reputation leading to work with people like Khari Simmons and Anthony David. ‘New Again’ is the lady’s third full solo album on her own Ketch A Vibe label. She’s confident enough to have written and arranged all the material herself but she also realizes the importance of an extra pair of more independent ears and the set’s co-produced with Steve Miggedy Maestro. Between them they’ve crafted a gentle laid back soundscape that’s right in the Atlanta soul bag, though on some cuts there’s a lightness – reminiscent of lovers’ rock – that shows Julie’s Caribbean roots.

Best examples of that subtlety are ‘Love 2 Love’ and ‘Blue Skies’ which features some lovely keys. ‘This Thing Called Love’ has a jazzy Latin feel to it while the opening ‘Sunrise’ is a most catchy, soft shuffle of a cut. The album also features a number of good ballads of which the LP’s title cut is the best. This one has the haunting quality of ‘You Are Everything’ about it. Dancers will find one really outstanding cut – the obvious ‘I Can Make You Dance’. It’s well into soulful house territory but it’s crispness and precision should please the modern soul room crew too (that’s to say those who are adventurous enough to be prepared to move away from retro 80s beats). The semi spoken word piece, ‘Beautiful People (Melanin)’ offers even more variety and you can discover more @ www.juliedexter.com    

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