Friday, June 20, 2008

What Love Will Do reviewed by Rich Gordon

What Love Will Do
Janiva Magness
Alligator Records
13 tracks

When it was announced that Janiva Magness signed with Alligator, I knew good things were coming. She is the winner of the 2006 and 2007 Blues Music Award for Best Contemporary Female Artist of the Year. Over the years, Janiva has been getting better and better. She has been experiencing, and she has been learning. All of this comes through on her new release of thirteen songs that deliver straight to your heart and soul. Take a blues base; add some old school R&B, plus a touch of gospel; simmer and heat, and season to perfection. That’s what this CD is all about. Included in the mix are songs from Marvin Gaye, Al Green, Annie Lennox, Little Milton, Dorothy Moore, Tina Turner, Candi Staton, and Bill Withers along with new material written especially for her. She makes every song her own. Her delivery serves these songs the best. You can tell that this music makes sense to her. It connects with her heart, and she shares those feelings and emotions with you. She’s not afraid to share. She’s not afraid to make that one to one connection with you.
Some of the standouts are “That’s What Love Will Make You Do,” “I Want a Love,” “One Heartache Too Late,” and “Sometimes You Got to Gamble.”
“You Sound Pretty Good” is an excellent comment on the music industry for someone who hits the road each year for over 200 shows.
The musicians are tight; the vocals are incredible; the production is right on the money. I have always been partial to women singing the blues and this is the reason why. This CD is not time wasted. It is 48 minutes and 10 seconds packed with songs about the facts of life. It is about being real and being alive.

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