ARTIST: Nicole Willis
TITLE: Soul Makeover
YEAR RELEASED: 2000
CHART ACTION: None
SINGLES: All the Time, Curiosity, Siesta
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Really, no
LINEUP: Nicole Willis, Jimi Tenor, Chris Dawkins, Severu Pyysalo, other studio pros in Spain and NY
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Long time backing vocalist (mainly in Europe, though she’s Brooklyn native) records a solo album with her producer husband (Tenor).
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Nicole Willis spent scads of time as a backing vocalist and collaborator in the US and Europe, Willis, by now living in Helsinki, recorded this solo album that proved to be an European breakthrough.
Combining soul, jazz, and electronica, Willis and her producer husband created a wonderful eclectic album which showcases how versatile her voice is as it comfortably nestles in with odd electronic experiments along with more classic soul and jazz sounds.
This record, and the touring behind it (she’s always been a big draw in Europe) established her as more than just a voice on someone else’s records. The arrangements and experiments also help to prove that she’s more than just a voice.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: She started her career in 1983, and by 1985 was a studio vocalist in London.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: Yes, remixes of a few tracks.
GRADE: A-: I like the mix of old and new here. It’s definitely worth seeking out.