Acoustic Soul by Motown Records (2004-05-07)
India Arie's Acoustic Soul is just as advertised: grooving soul music with an acoustic bent. Arie herself plays guitar, supplemented by strings (instead of synthesizers) and drums (instead of drum machines). The first single, "Video," is a calm, confident ode to self-love, comparing the dreadlocked, petite Arie to the average girl in a video. Arie is indeed anything but average: her debut marks the auspicious return of the black female singer-songwriter, in the vein of Me'Shell Ndegeocello, Tracy Chapman, and Dionne Farris. If you like their music, with thoughtful lyrics and layers of instrumentation, you'll love this album. "Video" is fabulous, but other high points include "Ready for Love," a lament that smolders before slowly building to a crescendo, with tinkling piano, guitar, and cello swelling beneath the vocal. "Strength, Courage, and Wisdom" is an optimistic anthem that'll have you clapping your hands and swaying from side to side, and the best track on the album, "Simple," is a straightforward love song with a pulsating beat. Acoustic Soul may not be full of radio-friendly tracks, but every track is strong, and the disc improves each time you press play. --Courtney Kemp
All used disks are professionally refurbished and test played before shipping and will play well in most machines.
Disc's are also repackaged (labeled refurbished) and suitable for gifts.