LORI DOW: Love Changes (Label: Lori Dow Music)

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LORI DOW: Love Changes

Lori Dow works the Boston soul circuits and ‘Love Changes’, I believe, is her second full solo album. I was drawn to it by some glowing soul web site reviews – one even claiming that Lori was better than the “whining Mary J Blige“. After several long listens, I’m afraid to say I can’t concur with those other distinguished reviewers. In my opinion – and remember, it’s only an opinion – Lori Dow’s a decent enough singer and the 12 tracker is an OK indie soul set – but there’s nothing here that truly shines out and overall I find it hard to accept that one reviewer calls the collection “THE album of the moment” (the hyperbole might be explained by the fact that said reviewer is in the business of selling the album). What I think is wrong with ‘Love Changes’ is that it lacks lightness. It’s all very serious and I’ve always (naively maybe) believed that soul music should bring joy – and there’s little of that here. For example on ‘Until I Found You’ Lori sings sweetly enough about how her new relationship is making her so happy – so why, then, does she sound so damn miserable? Equally there are a number of what we might call “serious songs” here. The title cut springs to mind – but lyrical platitudes like “war won’t solve anything” and “love can change everything” are hardly the stuff of modern philosophical revolutions and Lori doesn’t sound that convinced anyway. Where she does sound convincing is on the closer – ‘Dear Lord’. The message is spiritual and for once you start to believe that Lori herself believes. Elsewhere, ‘Patience’ is a steady beater with a touch of modern R&B, ‘Until I Found You’ is pleasant with a hint of Lisa Stansfield while ‘I Love The Way’ includes a rap – now what will the modern soul people make of that? The LP also boasts two covers and in fairness Lori gives Mary J’s ‘Love No Limit’ and Jill Scott’s ‘He Loves Me’ new twists and they’re probably the best cuts on the album. But to re-iterate, that’s just my opinion… make up you own minds, please, by going to www.soulchoonz.com
(BB) 3/5