CHERI MAREE: Pure Voice (Label: Celebrity Music Group)

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I know nothing at all about Cheri Maree save that, vocally she really does live up to the title of this album. The lady, you see, really does have a great set of pipes that betray a possible gospel apprenticeship and maybe some jazz influences. That jazz feeling is most apparent on the almost scatty opener ‘Hold Me Up’, but the lady shows her versatility with the purest soul delivery on the following cut ‘I Love…’ Yes, lyrically, we’re not treading new ground – but the song’s simple sentiment is perfectly matched to Cheri’s sincere, low-key delivery. The LP’s best cut Is ‘Talk To Me’ – a ballad on which she fuses the jazz and soul, while there’s more of the same on ‘September’ though I could have done without the rap interlude … maybe the lady’s people are looking to get something out of the R&B brigade with it. ‘Because Of You’ is another good tune that might appeal to modern room dancers – the more sedate ones that is… and like all half decent soul music it’s difficult to say what exactly brings the appeal – but it’s certainly there. The big problem with this album is that it’s one of those cheap-looking, low budget indie affairs that are so often dismissed or just overlooked. However, with a voice like this you shouldn’t really need big budgets and glossy superficials to make inroads. A diligent internet search will allow you to at least grab a listen and make up your own minds.
(BB) 3/5