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As you may know from many of my reviews I am always looking for new music and I remember back in 2000 when a new artist named India Arie released her debut album Acoustic Soul. I was impressed at the time as she was described as very similar as Lauryn Hill. This was before Lauryn Hill had a music breakdown of course. India Arie followed her successful debut album up with Voyage to India two years later.
**Voyage to India**
Released in 2002, Voyage to India followed Acoustic Soul with the same blend of India's mix of Soul & R&B. India Arie produced the album with help from the following producers. Blue Miller, Paul Morton, Jr., Andrew Ramsey, Shannon Sanders.
This is a short introduction to the album, Growth showcases the pureness of her voice and also the emotive feel of the voice. This is a Good little introduction that starts the album off well.
2.) Little Things (Main)
This track features India's sweet vocals accompanied by a heavy beat and some nice guitar tones. I particularly like the male backing vocals Which I feel add a nice touch alongside the firmness of the beat. This is a very good track that hints at the potential of the album.
3.) Talk To Her
This track sees India Arie given a friend advice on how best to treat their woman. This is a very insightful look into India's mind as a woman. This works really well as a song and is one of the best tracks of the first half of Voyage to India.
4.) Slow Down
This track opens with some lovely guitar work from India and then the beat comes in with a funky bass guitar hook that sounds really good alongside the beat and the percussive claps. Slow Down is a very flowing track which has a great melody. This is one of the best tracks on the album.
5.) The Truth
This is a very catchy track which opens with a quick acoustic guitar melody and then the R&B beat comes in. India's voice is understated yet again and is sweet and detailed. I particularly like the crashing drums which come in every now and again. Very good stuff.
6.) Beautiful Surprise
This really showcases the sweetness of her voice, She opens this with some high vocals and a very good acoustic guitar part accompanied by some beautifully laid back piano which adds a great touch. This is one of the best ballads she has done so far.
This brings the album back to a more stripped down feel with just India and her acoustic guitar. This Is a really beautiful track which again showcases her emotive voice which really shines on more stripped down material like this particular track even if it is only a short interlude.
8.) Get It Together
This features the same kind of acoustic guitar feel as the previous track but also features a strong beat and some very nice strings in the background which add a very nice touch to the overall feel of this track. Very good stuff and one of the best on the album.
9.) Headed In The Right Direction
This is a very flowing track which has different beats and a very nice pan pipe part which adds a different feel. This track is about when things are looking up for you when you have been through a rough patch. This track has A very strong message which is delivered very well.
10.) Can I Walk With You
This is another very flowing track, It has a punchy beat and has a great feel, I really like the way that she moves through this song as it has a very natural feel and her voice is again on form as it is in much of this album. This is Another very good track.
11.) The One
Despite a good musical backing this does not have the same spark as the best on the album, I feel that India's voice is not quite up to the standard of the rest of the album on this track which is a shame as the melody is very good and has the potential to back up a very good track.
12.) Complicated Melody
This is a really beautiful acoustic guitar based track with some great vocals, Complicated Melody is a song about the things that you live with about your partner that you may not like. Not many songs are done like this. It's a pretty good song which has a nice laid back feel.
This is another very good stripped down acoustic guitar track with some very sweet emotive vocals from India Arie. Another interlude that could work very well as a full song. Despite being just over a minute this has enough about it that it could be a very good track indeed.
14.) Good Man
This track is a little stuck between laid back and a more uptempo feel. This is another track that could have gone a litter better if it was slightly changed a bit. Still a decent enough track but I feel there could have been so much more from this track.
15.) God Is Real
This track features a catchy beat and some nice acoustic guitar from India Arie. I love the laid back feel of this track and it results in one of the best tracks on the album. Her voice is again passionate and emotive and works very well indeed on this track.
This has a very good beat which reminds me of somebody supplying the beat for the other person in a jamming session. This is a very good song indeed which has great music, lyrics and of course vocals, Another very fine track from the album. Good stuff.
17.) Brown Skin (Live)
This final track is a live version of her biggest hit from her debut album, This is a really vibrant live performance of this impressive track. If you have heard any of her stuff it is probably Brown Skin. This live version of Brown Skin is A great addition to the album and a great closer.
India Arie's second album is probably going to end up one of her best albums. She has recorded two albums since then and they have been very solid too. At 34 she still has a lot of music to offer the world and I am sure she will release many more albums and I am also sure that they will be of good quality. So finally I would recommend Voyage to India to anyone who likes their music laid back and emotive.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
2 Little Things (Main)
3 Talk To Her
4 Slow Down
5 The Truth
6 Beautiful Surprise
8 Get It Together
9 Headed In The Right Direction
10 Can I Walk With You
11 The One
12 Complicated Melody
14 Good Man
15 God Is Real
17 Brown Skin