A lot of people are raving about this CD. For me, this usually entails me being severely disappointed and wondering what planet everyone else is on! However, on this occasion the brouhaha is very, very solidly founded. This gorgeous new talent, along with producers Bluey, and contributors Incognito, Matt Cooper, Ski Oakenful and the delightful Omar, Dira explodes spectacularly onto the scene with a truly magnificent voice, a blisteringly hot album and so deserves all the credit, recognition and support of soul enthusiasts all over the world. Our American cousins may will only be interested in appealing to pre-pubescent teens, those who fancy themselves as the local thug of neighbourhood player. This, dear folks is SOUL MUSIC. It’s the real mckoy, what we love and what we all need right now.
Not one track will disappoint, and fans of mid-late ’70s real soul will immediately latch onto the beautiful, string-laden opening song, “Inside Love”. This song alone won my heart immediately and should all other 9 songs be a waste of time this song would still claim this album as essential. It really is that strong. Miss this at your real peril.
“Time Out Of Time” is simply…sublime. It’s a dream record in every sense of the world. It’s so 1981 / 1982 yet smack bang in a quality 2010 groove…records like this are amazing when they do surface, and that’s not all too often. Bluey and the gang deserve an award for crafting such a wonderful song, indeed, album!!! For those who yearn for the blistering heat of summer…check out Dira’s duet with Omar, “Let’s Go Back”.
My word, this is smashing!!! As our man Richard Searling would say…soul…and then some!!! The haunting synth takes us back to the heady jazz-fusion days of Roy Ayers or the Mizell Brothers. God! What a tuuuuune!!! If you’re hankering after a brassy groove then the midtempo monster, “Get Through To You” will do nothing but put a spring in your step. The warm keys are straight back to Lonnie Liston Smith’s sublime Columbia years in the late ’70s. Can I take much more excellence?!
Thankfully, the answer is yes. The orchestral piece, “Essentially Yours” would not be out of place on something as classy as Nancy Wilson’s “Nancy Now” or “Love, Nancy”. An exceptional vocalist, Dira is both smooth as silk and very sexy to boot. Her performance on this song is better than anything you will hear churned out over in the States. For those who like a housier, club-orientated sound I would immediately head to “Bring It On”. The rhythm pumps, the groove insistent and the strings and horns courtesy of Incognito add a classic late ’70s disco feel. The likes of Louie Vega or Josh Milan would really appreciate this soulful house flavour. Carrying on the diverse nature of this set we have a gorgeous Latin feel a la Adriana Evans style with “Won’t You Come With Me” – this is a delicious song with warm fender Rhodes keyboards, flute and more than a hint of summer warmth. How I yearn for those days. To close the set on an upbeat note is the superb dancer “No More Tears”, another disco-fied housey number that makes my heart sing! I cannot thank everyone associated with this album enough.