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Now Hear This: BRI (EP) - BRI

Rating: ***1/2

BRI's a soul singer and actress from Echo Park, a suburb of Los Angeles that is most popular for being where the Dodgers play and for Guisado's Tacos (PS - They're delicious). That said, I understand that you might not immediately think of "modern soul" when you think of that area. The question is this: Will BRI make you change your mind? Will the Echo Park area now hold a strong connotation to contemporary R&B? Will the Dodgers finally win the World Series? These are questions we'll have the answers to soon.
You see, as of this writing the Dodgers are up 2-0 over the Cubs in their best-of-seven National Championship series AND BRI has a new EP coming out on October 25, titled "BRI". Lucky for me, I had the chance to give it a test run and I'm about to share those thoughts with you. Excited? You should be. I'm too good to you.
Listen to "VooDoo" below:
The album starts with the Skin, and it's a good intro to the record. Piano intro leads into the verse. It's very Norah Jones-ey and very good. She's got a delightful singing voice. Sultry with range. It's gonna sound like things you've heard before, but that's ok. It's a solid start for sure. Badge is next and it continues the well-sung-but-familiar-sounding love song theme. I liked this one less than Skin, but it still isn't bad by any stretch. Track 3 is Oh My Baby and it's a little more uptempo. It's got a good melody and a catchy chorus. Blues influenced which makes for a good change of pace. The second half of the EP starts with VooDoo. This is the highlight of the album for me so far. It's the piano intro, verse-chorus-verse formula again, but it works exceptionally here. Lyrically it's a little more complex. A really beautiful song. The next track is You Are Not Mine. It sounds like the theme to an old crime movie. Not my favorite track, but it's still alright. The album ends on a cover of Rise Up by Andra Day. It more than does justice to the original. An inspirational tune to begin with, BRI puts a unique spin on it that gives it even more of an earnest message.
Very good EP from BRI here. If you are a fan of Norah Jones or Adele, you're going to find more than enough here to fill your headphones with modern soul. Strong recommendation from me on this one.

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