New York bred songstress Sy Smith, has been one of the only artist who has been able to beautifully walk the tightrope between dance music, and neo-soul music. Its release delayed whilst working on other projects and touring with The Foreign Exchange, her fourth album Fast and Curious proves worth the wait, with evolved production throughout by Mark de Clive Lowe.
Here the blatant soul of previous albums is traded for a synthy ’80s dance vibe, with acid jazz and electro-soul undertones – and this album, more than any of her others, makes you want to dance from start to finish with the production providing a harmonious perfect backdrop to Sy’s sweet vocals.
Of the production collaboration with Lowe, Smith told Okayplayer Revitalist channel that she loved working with Lowe because the way he produces where he starts with one song, and takes it in a different direction. “Mark is a jazz musician and the progression never gets boring with him. The one thing I wanted to do was an album that sounded like and reflected the part that was going on in my head,” she said; and that’s exactly what comes across — a constant party.
The 11-track album’s title track opens giving listeners a taste of what they can expect throughout – soulful lyrics, explorative production, and stellar vocals from Smith. “Truth” was the first song the pair recorded together and this track would do well in the dance world and in clubs.
The production that Lowe lays out on “Personal Party,” has a warm vibe complementing Smith’s lyrics; Spending time with you is something that I call divine / Intervening with the tendencies I leave behind / I no longer seek salivation of external kind / When I’m not with you, I can see you deep in my mind.
Smith recruits Rashaan Patterson for “Nights (Feel Like Gettin’ Down).” The way the production sounds, as well as both Smith and Patterson on the song, many listeners may not realize that this song is a cover of Billy Ocean’s classic, “Nights.”
The tribute “Teena (Lovergirl Sybersized)” works effortlessly in honour of the iconic Teena Marie, giving the track an even more soulful and slow vibe, with tweaks to the chorus, resulting in a highlight on the album.
Wwith help from Mark De Clive Lowe, Sy Smith lais out the perfect album. Throughout she sounds like a sexy ’70s/’80s siren, and none of the songs on this album are skippable; their placement each serving as the perfect lead to the next, on what culminates as an excellent album for soulful music fans.
Take a listen and purchase below.
Sy Smith – Fast and Curious
Released: March 6, 2012
Label: Psyko! Records