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In The Spotlight: Music You Should Know About
by Craig Chapman/Editor
Welcome to “In The Spotlight”, our monthly column dedicated to the
discovery of new and underground artists.  This month we will feature
the debut solo release from Van Hunt, along with two neo-soul
compilation CDs.
The new album from Van Hunt on Capitol records
was recently released to the masses. It’s
another installment in the growing progressive
R&B movement that’s pushing the genre
boundaries. Imagine a musical blend of Prince,
Lenny Kravitz, along with a touch of Curtis
Mayfield, and you’ll have the framework of
singer, composer, and instrumentalist Van Hunt’s
The first single is the bluesy “Seconds Of Pleasure” which is getting a
small amount of airplay around the country, but probably too
progressive for most commercial stations.  Van turns up the heat with
his rockish, funky R&B concoction on “Highlights”, Anything (To Get Your
Attention), and “Hello Goodbye”. The rhythm track of “Out Of The Sky”
sparks memories of Sly & the Family Stone, while “Down Here In Hell
(With You) establishes itself as the gem of the CD.

Van & his 5 piece band recently performed here in New York to promote
his album. They are a tight unit that’s loose on stage, creating a relaxing
and fun entertainment experience.

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"Soul Sophisticated"
“Soul Sophisticated” is a compilation six artists
from around the world, that are principal players
in the underground soul music movement. Many
call it neo-soul, while others proclaim this the
resurgence of rhythm & blues.  The music here is
sophisticated, jazzy, and groovy.
The duo Kloud 9 contributes “Never Knew”, If You Ever”, and “With Me”,
breezy rhythms from their debut #1 UK release.

Nadir (meaning rare and unique) is a southern breed artist with a style
comparable to Will Downing and the late Carl Anderson. He has two
smooth tracks on the CD, “Queen Of Sheba” and “Soul Mate”.

Representing the ladies, Karen Bernod who submits three tracks for our
listening pleasure. “Do You Wanna Do” is a nice spring time jam, “Spirit”
is a laid back earthy piece, while “Pray” get us thinking with a socially
conscious theme.

Other standouts include the reflective “Hands Of Time” by Carmen
Rodgers, and folky “Run Away” from neo-soul veteran Laurnea.

Overall a “Soul Sophisticated” is a quite an assortment of music that
would be a good addition to your library.
"The Soul Lounge Vol. 1"
“The Soul Lounge Vol. 1” is a collection of what
they call Street Soul Music. This CD is sixteen
songs deep, most of them mid to up-tempo in

If you’re in the mood for some danceable
grooves, checkout the house-ish “Something
Real” by Seek, the late nite lounge sound of Monet’s “Spirit, “Time” from
Big Brooklyn Red, and the phat beats and vocal prowess of Queen
Aaminah on “Keep It Real”.

The strength of this project is the abundance of mid-tempo grooves with
diverse lyrical content and musical production.  Our favorites include;
“Past Paradise’ by Eric Robertson, “Sunshine” from Antoinque,  Heston’s
“If”, and Conya Doss’ “Just Because”.

Step into the “The Soul Lounge Vol. 1” and experience the future of
urban music.