Shameem (Taheri-Lee) is an Australian singer/songwriter who, we’re told, reveres 70s soul which she re-channels in her own contemporary way. ‘The Second City’ is the Perth native’s second full album and even before its January release there’s quite a buzz on it on the back of the lead single ‘Beautiful Soul’. The Alicia Keys-flavoured tune won some high profile support and it stands out on the album. It features some tight beats and is built round an ultra catchy chorus.
‘Under One Sun’ is another album highlight…. pleasant pop soul with a thoughtful, socially conscious lyric. Indeed, throughout, Shameem lyrics comment on a lot more than the usual relationship thing. The album’s consistent lyrical theme is about the importance of giving thanks. The set features a number of brief sketches or interludes exhorting to us to give thanks for everything we have and that sentiment is summed up in the final outro.
‘Hole In My Heart’ is another cut worth checking. This one’s very Alicia Keys… a lovely, loose, jazzy ramble. The album boasts a number of ballads too – notably ‘Other Half Of My Heart’. With just a hint of reggae about it, it’s quite beguiling. Add to that some decent, if ponderous beaters (‘Imposter’ and ‘Give Me A Reason’) and you have a decent contemporary soul set that’s spoiled by one cut that I found hard to connect with. That one’s ‘Expectation’. It’s clearly an experimental tune but veers too much towards rock to please soul sensitivities.
Shameem’s ‘The Second City’ is released on January 16th and you can find more out @ www.shameemmusic.com