Monday, 13 July 2009

Review: VV Brown - Travelling Like the Light

VV Brown's success is virtually travelling with the light after the release of her highly anticipated debut album. Vanessa, of course VV is not a real name, offers an intriguing combination of electronica, funk and dance with a few strings of alternative and soul. A debut that easily could be among the best ones for 2009 and deserves your attention. Brown's major plus is the fusion of club friendly rhythms with the vibes of underground, which is brought to life with the distinctive use of various instruments and backing on plenty of styles.

Seen as a refined combination of Grace Jones and Erykah Badu, wrapped up in her own originality and stage presence VV Brown is virtually one of the next-best-things to storm the commercial sphere. Nevertheless, Brown's post-modern influences could be considered as both flaws or advances. To me, "Travelling Like the Light" is a fresh attempt to be apart from the mass and still sound accessible and friendly. Sadly, Brown's determination to swing back to the 50s-70s reminds me painfully too much of Duffy and Adele, exceeding the recommended retro dose.

Although often put somewhere in the indie niche, VV Brown is anything but indie. As soon as Island Records, which is part of Universal Music, becomes an independent label VV and alike can proudly call themselves indie-pop. Island being annoyingly cautious take Brown's promotion step by step that keeps her still criminally unknown. Probably under the label's pressure "Travelling Like the Light" deliberately allowed styles to flow into one another creating an idiosyncratic structure for every taste. Of course, even a fifth grader knows that this is a big load of nonsense. Brown proves to be an excellent funk/doo-woop/R&B singer, but she most certainly lacks that electronica vibe that makes you wanna go to every club eager to boogie to her tracks.

Tracks to hear: "Shark in the Water", "Back In Time", "Travelling Like the Light" and "Crying Blood"

Rating: 7/10