Soul is, in the words of writer Nelson George, “a one word summation of our [Black America’s] spirit, our desires and self-esteem.” In T&T in the 1970s, local bands like Kalyan and Sound Revolution flirted with the sounds and rhythms of soul music and channelled its celebratory spirit. In 2013, a new avatar for soul has arrived.
John John debuts as the local poster boy for neo-soul singers with his first album Citagrandson on Highway Records. The self-penned 12 tracks on this CD paint the picture of a young man discovering his true self and exploring his longings. “Let’s Make Music” is brutally frank about his desires: “…take off those clothes/make 10 toes 20, your chakras exposed.”
Production values that look to the larger world for validation, excellently highlighting John John’s slinky voice to effect, are keys that the label and artist can depend on for making that international breakthrough.
- This review appeared in the Trinidad and Tobago Guardian as part of the article, “Music from John John: T&T’S SOUL”
© 2013, Nigel A. Campbell. All Rights Reserved.