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Leila — Soul Ascension

March 8, 2011

Today, with the imagination, energy, and insight of artists-new and veteran- we are the fortunate recipients of some of the finest combinations of the different genres imaginable. The latest to which I’ve been introduced happens to belong to Leila, a beautiful young Spaniard born in Argentina and quickly raised on the passions and calling of the richest of R&B, Latin, World, and jazz.  With a healthy dose of sultriness and soul, this comely songstress brings us a double CD, Soul Ascension.
 
There are some indications that R&B is probably the more dominant force on this album (at least on disc two, in my opinion), but it really doesn’t dominate in that you aren’t so cognizant of that “pigeonhole” as you are of the content of the overall material, the lyrics, the melodies, etc. It all works so well together as one lovely fabric.

From track one on disc one, “Listen Don’t Listen,” a sassy romantic, moving, and enticing piece full of body and deep, very deep lyrics, this young lady takes us on a fantastic voyage of melody and stories that’s quite impressive.  Considering that she wrote all of the lyrics and co-wrote the music (most of it with smooth jazz artist Funkee Boy), it’s safe to assume that she knew what she wanted to say and how she wanted it said.

Leila’s first effort, Of Life, landed her some serious looks, as she acquired a worldwide fan base and topped several music charts.  To indicate continuing impact, this latest project attracted saxman Eric Darius on “Sexy Saxophone,” a sweet and tender stroll.

There are aspects of tenderness, touch, reflection, and thought that can only be defined by the beautiful way this artist presents her material.   There’s so much more here than music.  There’s substance, and if there were no sweet melodies, no catchy hooks, no sexy vocals, there would still be more than enough reason to listen.  – Ronald Jackson