Album Review: V.V. Brown ‘Travelling Like The Light’

V.V. Brown
Travelling Like The Light
Capitol Records
Lincoln Hall
Thursday, April 1, 2010

Every once in a while an artist comes along that bridges musical styles and generations simultaneously and flawlessly. V.V. Brown is one of those artists. Her debut full-length record Travelling Like The Light is a breath of fresh air at a time when the collective audience of music fanatics is choking on the fumes of Taylor Swift and American Idol contestants. One of the elements that draw listeners to this amazing little collection of songs is Brown’s fearlessness combined with her cheeky attitude. V.V. turns an intriguing (and often humorous) rhyme reflecting her advanced academic background, but Brown’s intricate compositions clearly reflect the jazz and classical piano classes she took in her youth.

V.V. Brown has an uncanny knack for taking an uncomplicated melodic line and layering a variety of textures around it. Thus taking the melody and the listener to unexpected places that eventually become welcome little surprises. There is a difference between production tricks in the studio and well-crafted arrangements. Brown is clearly having a blast offering the latter of the two. This is not to dismiss her as a novelty act. V.V. Brown is so much more than the sum of her parts. “Shark In The Water” is most likely to be labeled the performer’s signature song from this point on and with good reason. This buoyant happy-go-lovely tune should (and deserves to) enjoy a long shelf life on the ears and lips of her loyal listeners. As well as the neophytes who use the contagious composition as a compass to find their way to Brown. However, it is this breakout artist’s versatility that is her true calling card.

“I Love You” is a softer-than-spring sunset ballad that features both Brown’s sweet and sensitive sides. This is easily one of the best love songs recorded since the Philly soul days of the mid 1970s. The melody is haunting. Brown’s vocal delivery is innocent-in-love. The lyrics are intimate while simultaneously reflecting an experience that is universal to all. “I Love You” is followed by the British singer/songwriter’s cry, “You best believe I’m in love, baby!” This lyric then kicks off “L.O.V.E,” a song that shifts gears back to upbeat happy-to-be-here music that will surely make V.V. Brown a household name in no time.

Buy Brown’s new disc Travelling Like The Light. See V.V.’s Chicago show next month at Lincoln Hall. Repeat aforementioned process with V.V. Brown’s next album and concert. Ready, set, go!

Stand Out Tracks: “Leave!,” “Crying Blood,” and “I Love You”

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