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CD REVIEW: Jazmin Sky - "Jazmin Sky "
By Gian F - 03/29/2005 - 11:09 PM EST

Artist: Jazmin Sky
Album: "Jazmin Sky "
CD Review: Genre: Adult Contemporary
Sounds Like: ?
Technical Grade: 9
Production/Musicianship Grade: 9
Commercial Value: 7
Overall Talent Level: 7
Songwriting Skills: 7
Performance Skill: 8
Best Songs: Are U The One, Wake Up And Smell The Coffee, Reflections Of U, There Aint Nothin
Weakness: Songs need stronger hooks
CD Review: Jazmin Sky, a singer/songwriter from Oakland, California came very close to not having her CD reviewed when I didn't find a cover letter or any accompanying correspondence as I always recommend in my article on How To Get Better Reviews. Fortunately, her project was just reeking with quality from the CD cover, the photos, the insert, and the graphic design. It was very obvious to me that this was an independent project that was well financed, but would the financing enhance its commercial value?

The answer is yes...sort of.

This jazzy/r&b/neo-soul project owes the bulk of its commercial value and artistic merit to the production. Popular Bay Area musicians Cedricke Dennis and Michael Alvarado (guitar); Elijah Green and Jamie Brewer (bass); Joel Griffin (drums); Bill Ortiz and Charles McNeal (Trumpet & Saxophone) contribute their significant talents and upscale musicianship to tracks that are beautifully arranged and stylishly produced by Thomas Cryer, who also played keyboards and did drum programming.

What about Jazmin's vocals? Well, she sings in Spanish and French, and she doesn't do a bad job of singing in English either. She is not a powerful vocalist, but she knows how to deliver a lyric with emotional power. She is at her best when singing in a relaxed soprano as demonstrated on her most commercial track (and what should be serviced to radio first - KBLX in particular), the ballad, "Are U The One," which calls upon the rarely used lower, sensual registers of her voice. It showcases her vocal agility against a backdrop of plush harmonies that are weaved through out the chorus. The production of this track is reminiscent of old school r&b that mature audiences like and the quality they appreciate. They will also appreciate Jazmin's violin solo which opens the track and sets the tone. It's a well-crafted production and the true gem on this project.

While this CD is designed to be a mellow listening experience, it does have its more uptempo and aggressive moments during Jazmin's cover of the Chaka Khan tune, "U Got The Love" and the Latin flavored "Forbidden Fruit," which do a better job of displaying the expertise and diversity of her musicians than the width of her vocal talents or personality. That distinction belongs to the decisively urban, "Wake Up And Smell The Coffee," which finds Jazmin delivering her spunkiest vocal performance in addition to reaching into her arsenal of talents to pull out a flute and execute a very competent solo that accents the production quite nicely. It (and/or "Reflections Of U") would be good follow-up singles - depending on what audience she decides to target.

With a high-quality project, songs that translate well into live performance, and a commercial look, the sky is the limit for Jazmin.

Advice: Collaborate with a more experienced songwriter whose strength is writing stonger, memorable hooks.

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