Music Review

Angela Johnson – Naturally Me (Album Review) @AngelaJohnson_1

Angela Johnson - Naturally Me


Singer/Songwriter/ Multi-Instrumentalist Producer, Angela Johnson’s new project is a melodic sweet dose of good music.  Natural, no preservatives of canned beats and rhythms, strong, made for those with a good heart, good feet to tap along, and nimble fingers to snap.  I prescribe a dose any time of the day for an automatic boost of healing, by an addictive, soulful voice, mixed with live instrumentation and meaningful lyrics.

As Motown moved a nation, Johnson’s Naturally Me embodies the same spirit of Soul that has been rumored to be dead. The first track “To Love Again” reminds you of the girl groups of Motown, the chorus is layered in harmony.   Picture her in a floor-length gown as she pours her heart out, in determination and courage to continue to seek love, on stage with a full orchestra and background singers singing their individual parts.  “Say Yeah” and “Beautiful Place” also have that big-band sound.

Johnson pays homage to Motown legend, Teena Marie, in a beautiful rendition of “Déjà vu (I’ve Been Here Before”, written by Rick James which features world renown Onaje Allan Gumbs on grand piano.   As a fan of Teena Marie, I believe that both would have been she and James would be honored with the beautiful delivery by Johnson.

“Black Boy Lullaby” is an anthem of a mother’s love and guidance for our sons to survive in a perilous environment.  As a mother of two sons, this song touches my heart and soul.  On any given day, we can turn on media and hear stories of children who have been lost to violence.  As parents, we love our children so we have to prepare them for the real world, yet teach them how to live without fear but love.   Johnson’s lyrics accomplish this, the seeds are planted and watered with wisdom.

“Destined for Greatness/ You’re going to go so far/ Baby boy, you are a shining star”

“Know that you are the chosen one/ So precious and loved/Let no one make you feel less than you are/Trust in these words I say to you may someday save your life.”

“When it comes to survival where prejudice and hate exists/ Remember these words coming from my lips./ Cuz there are trigger-happy people running around these streets/Looking for any good reason to fulfill their wildest dreams.”

“I Don’t Mind” is something for the lovers, a sweet mantra showing that love is an action word.  Whatever she needs to do, she does not mind, have you ever loved anyone like that?  If you did, like I did, I hope the song puts a wide smile on your face from the wonderful memories and plans of new ones.

“He Saw Love Me” has a fun upbeat tempo, for that fore-mentioned foot-tapping and finger-snapping.  Oops, I forgot to mention head-nodding.  It feels like this song needs a nicely choreographed video.  This is that “feel good” song that feels like it could be played for decades.  I follow the embedded lyrical instructions, and clapped my hands as she commanded, however the hip rocking was all my own doing.

Angela Johnson’s “Naturally Me” shows she is made of all the good things, plus sugar and spice; it is scheduled for release on August 19, 2014.

Visit Angela Johnson’s web site for all the latest news and follow her on Twitter!  Tune into The Mellow Mix for your Indie R&B fix:

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