* Prices may differ from that shown
The UK-based Neo-Soul and Hip Hop duo Floetry released "Floetic" as their debut album in 2002. It saw Marsha Ambrosius and Amanda Diva link up to provide the kind of things which was heard form key acts in this genre such as Erykah Badu, Jill Scott and Lauryn Hill. Strangely, the majority of their success came from the US market, and they were relatively unknown in their homeland and so many in fact thought they were just Americans with a bit of a UK twist to them. They have written for the likes of Dru Hill, Bilal and most notably Michael Jackson in their time and so they have the lyrics, and clearly the talent when it comes to performing it, but it doesn't necessarily mean it will come together in their own personal work.
1. "Big Ben" (Intro)
Directly off a rapped introduction, you get a track which was amongst their most popular and it sees them getting down to the eponymous tune form the album where they come with a thing which has them doing all they can to show the various directions of the Diva coming with the raps and Ambrosius singing as they do one to introduce just who they are.
3. "Ms. Stress"
The music appears to move on quite a bit as you see them getting into this one with them getting into a low paced track which appears to have a much more specific subject matter. You have a tune which has Diva getting deep with her unique spoken word, off-beat approach to MCing over the complex production and I felt that the lack of flow meant it was a bit hard to engage with.
I felt that as soon as the beats kicked into effect for this one, I couldn't but get down to it as it indicated that they would pick up the pace to a level where you can't argue with the material they came up with, and I felt that this was what you got from it as they do a funky little jam which has them tracking their relationships and speaking of where it possibly went wrong for them.
You have a cold song from them here as you have them taking the pace right down and allowing Ambrosius, the Songstress, to get the most prominent role in the work to rally pull out the emotions of the music, and not lose it in the unpredictable rhymes which you get from Diva, The Floacist. It has them performing a general love-based song, and although what is done is original, it didn't really appeal to me.
You get a quite an emotive one here, but the whole arrangement of the music was done in a manner which made it difficult to keep up with and to really get into any specific aspect and so I felt hat it was a bit too much of a struggle for the listener to really appreciate what is done with it.
It appears that through this one the lift in the music wouldn't persist as here you get one which has them going form a tune which had them really at the top of their game, but then leaning towards the confusing world of UK Hip Hop as this field, headed by the likes of Sway, Blak Twang and The Mitchell brothers (not to be confused with those who represent Grime) were good at what they did, but their take on the US's Conscious Hip Hop scene was a bi of a struggle back at this time. And it doesn't really make for something that effective here.
8. "Say Yes"
Here you get a track on the album which has Diva absent from the music and I felt that it would be a bit of a break to allow the full-on neo-Soul to manifest itself, but it appeared to just get it moving towards the more general R&B style and so it didn't really do what was expected o fulfil the needs of the listener.
You get quite a lift out of the production in this one as they try out something a little different as the come with something rich in unique sound effects to really highlight how far out of the ordinary they are, but it didn't make for anything that special from them with one which has them trying out some boundary-breaking structures to form things around.
10. "Getting Late"
Edging in on seven minutes in length, this is a track which has them trying out something which pushing things out a bit as they must construct tha recording which can really do something worth getting into for such an amount of time. I felt that the laid-back approach wasn't really helping it as they weren't really in a position to do it, based on the songs which lead up to it and so I couldn't get into the music from the start and the rest would just be as much of a waste of time.
11. "Hey You"
Here you have one which has the MCing taking on a much greater and more significant role in the music, but just as been heard up to this point; it wasn't really doing anything which really made any real impact or something which rally had any sort of appeal. Nothing really happens with it, and the rhymes seem to just worsen this.
12. "If I Was A Bird"
You have more of the spoken word work here and it just isn't something which has that much to offer as the way it is done never quite fits into a song, and it just spoils things. For this reason I felt that all the sung parts were undermined and in spite of the fact it was sung well, nothing backed tit up.
Here you have them getting down to a track which brings the UK Hip Hop thing to the forefront of the music and as they choose to do things in such a way where they move away from the spoken word and the Neo-Soul to really get down to some grungy material which is bound to get anyone excited.
14. "Mr. Messed Up"
Ending it off you get one on the thing which has them choosing to go about things in a way which would be considered rather predictable, based upon what has come at other parts within the record. It is an up-beat one and sees them balancing the genres in a way which some may enjoy, but I didn't personally feel it really delivered as it should have.
This is an album which I couldn't get down to, but I expect that other Neo-Soul fans will enjoy it. You have them performing in a manner which seems to take a lot from all the popular Neo-Soul acts of the time, but I didn't think that their unique element (of the raps) really did that much to get that much excitement out of music. Personally, I was disappointed by this album, and I expected much more to come from it and so I wouldn't recommended it, but I can see where people can find the appeal.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 Big Ben
3 Ms. Stress
5 Getting Late
7 Mr. Messed Up
8 Say Yes
11 Hey You
12 If I Was A Bird
16 Now You're Gone (More Than I Can Feel) - Floetry, Sebastian Rogers