Ihsaan Khatim - Ihsaan Khatim
Ihsaam Khatim says of his debut EP, "I know there is a call for this type of hope and love in music", and a bold case for optimism it certainly is - he preaches cheerfulness in this politically/economically challenging time. It's a refreshing set of values, actually, tempered by a sense of realism. Top marks for concept.
This debut EP is a mix of jazzy soul, blues, gospel and R&B melodies and it's perfectly suited to Khatim's gorgeous voice. I particularly like the interplay of voices on 'Pump Our Brakes', and the more mature feel to the vocal delivery - it gives it more soulful feel. There are nice beats and organs and keyboards in the background, giving the track a modern twist. My next favourite has to be the second track, 'La, La, La (Our Love Is So)'. The lyrics are a little soppy, but again the vocal delivery is smoother and warmer than hot honey, and the keys tinkle in the background like twinkling lights.
While this three-track EP is meant as a teaser for the full-length 'Speak Life' coming in 2010, I think Khatim has to be a little careful not to make it same-y. Especially hard work as happiness comes only in one, pure form - and this grates after a while. But if there are more forays into old school R&B and more lush, seductive jazz licks I'll be buying a copy.
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