There have been a few husband and wife duos in the Music world over the past sixty years, One of the more recent duos are Kindred The Family Soul. Comprising of Fatin Dantzler and Aja Graydon they began recording in 2003 with their debut "Surrender to Love". The couple were discovered by Jill Scott who saw them performing at the Black Lily Film & Music Festival. They are signed to Hidden Beach. They have released three albums to date and my review today is on the latest one.
The album was released in 2008 and although the duo don't the exposure they maybe should have "The Arrival" was still very well received by critics and Kindred fans. The album features a collaboration with Malik Yusef. The album was named due to the birth of their new born twins and they are sung about on the album as well as other songs dealing with Love & Relationships.
1.) Can't Help It
This track gets things off to a great start with a bluesy soul track about the troubles that everyone has in a relationship. Aja's vocals open the track with an excellent expressive feel. Fatin then comes in with his emotive smooth vocals. This is a really excellent track which moves along superbly well and the vocals are a feature of the track. This is a superb introduction to the album. Great start.
This is a catchy slice of neo-soul. There are some great guitar licks in the background and Fatin's vocals are laid back and move along superbly. Aja's vocals are very good indeed and this is another excellent track about not talking about the problems in a relationship so they become more pressured. This is a wonderfully catchy and vibrant track.
3.) Just the way you are
This is a lovely laid back ballad about loving someone for the person they are and what they do for you. This is a great example of how well they work together vocally. Both have excellent voices and the way their vocals blend together is superb. One of the best tracks on the album and a joyous moment. This track's message is about feeling good in your relationship.
4.) House of Love
This track was one of the most hyped on the album when it was released. It's not hard to understand why as it's an excellent track about building a family and being happy as husband and wife with your children. This is another great example of how they work together with their vocals sounding superb together. Brilliant stuff and towards the end Fatin shows what a powerful voice he has.
This is a slight departure from the opening four tracks, It's a funky mid tempo track which has a great feel and features some excellent vocal harmonies. Fatin really shows off his amazing vocals on this one with amazing power and grace at the same time. This is one of the best of the more up tempo tracks on the album and really shows of their versatility to great effect.
6.) Rightfully So
This is another really excellent track, It's a lovely musically vibrant track about doing the right things for your partner. Aja kicks things off and when Fatin takes over you are already tapping your toes. This is an excellent moment on the album and shows the range of their vocals and also their music as this is quite different from some of their stuff. I love the horns in this song.
7.) Set Free
Continuing the different styles on the album this is an excellent up tempo Hip Hop style beat track with Fatin on fine form vocally. The music is really superb on this track and gives them a great platform for their fine vocals to shine. This has to be one of their best up tempo tracks not just on the album but in their career.
8.) The Struggle
This is another track about getting through the troubles in your relationships. This track has some great beats and I love the breakdown in the middle and the chorus is excellent with some fine voacal harmonies. Fatin again shows off the power of his vocals towards the end. Aja also puts in a great vocal performance on this great track.
9.) Love we share
This track is about the love they feel for each other and how they have developed as a couple from the start to getting married and life as a married couple and now mother and father. I love the Gospel choir backing which really adds a great emotive quality to the song. Fatin is awesome on this one.
10.) No Limit
This track is a lovely mellow mid tempo ballad with some great strings which open the song. The beat and piano really compliments the lovely vocals from Aja and her backing vocalists. This is a superb track which despite the catchy beat has a very laid back feel. The string background is absolutely superb and really adds a fine touch. One of the best tracks on the album.
11.) Poetry Interlude
This is the first of two collaborations with Malik Yusef. This is a brilliant Rap Poem which features a thumping beat and some great bass licks. A nice short interlude to the album.
This is another track which features a thumping beat. This track is a fine example of Fatin's vocal range. His vocals are very mellow on this one and Aja's vocals are superbly mellow too. This is a wonderful track which works very well with the heavy beat and the very gentle piano tones which are beautiful. An excellent track.
13.) So Much Better
This is an old style soul track which features both Aja and Fatin on fine form vocally. This is a joyous song about getting over your problems and moving on from something bad in your life. This is an inspiring song which they do wonderfully well. I really like the old school Soul feel of this one compared to the Neo Soul of much of the album. It shows the variety of the two.
14.) Always be arriving
This is a fine ending to what has been an excellent album. It opens with a superb drum sequence with a laid back rap from Malik Yusef who appears again. This is an excellent collaboration which really compliments Aja and Fatin. There are some excellent drum parts and the music is just an excellent touch.
This is a fine album from Aja and Fatin. They show growth from each album and are really very talented indeed. They should be much better known than they are. "The Arrival" is another very very good album from them and really whets my appetite for a new Kindred the Family Soul album soon. If you like Neo Soul then you should give this album a serious audition.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 Can't Help It
3 Just the Way You Are
4 House of Love
6 Rightfully So
7 Set Free
9 Love We Share
10 No Limit
11 Poetry Interlude - Kindred the Family Soul, Malik Yusef
13 So Much Better
14 Always Be Arriving (Finale) - Kindred the Family Soul, Malik Yusef