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6.18.2008

New Music Tuesday: Chante Moore

It was the stroking of the guitars that put me at ease over the first few bars of the song. It was the refreshing familiarity of that crisp, mellow, smooth voice (which has been well preserved) that’s never going anywhere.

"Oh my lord have I waited for this day" ran through my head as I woke up this morning (In the words of the great Whitney Houston in her diva duel with my favorite tranny “friend in my head” Wendy Williams.) Five Albums later, a 9-year solo hiatus – Chante Moore returns! But after it got what I wanted, I could have kept waiting…for a quality CD that is.

There is no doubt that Chante is one of my favorite artists. Her voice is calming, refreshing, soothing - something remnant of a soft summer breeze that could warm up a brisk winter day and she did exactly that on her opening song, a Nancy Wilson cover, “Guess who I saw today,” from her new CD “Love The Woman.”

I was more than excited when I heard Chante was recording a solo disc of new material. Not that I haven’t been pleased with her latest works with Kenny Lattimore (I must say that Kenny & Chante are my favorite Hollywood couple) but I was eagerly awaiting her follow-up to her 1999 “Exposed” CD which boasted great songs like Straight Up, Love’s Still Alright and Better Than Makin’ Love.

After a full and thorough play through of this CD five times I came up with this: Something is missing. And what I think is missing is proper direction. It was as if someone gave her some songs and said sing – and she did that. The great thing about Mrs. Moore-Lattimore is that she is a great singer and she can make “Jingle Bells” sound like an earth shattering eargasm which is what she did on another fantastic cover, Minnie Ripperton’s “Give Me Time.”

What I like about best about Chante is that she actually uses her voice, the range, the richness, and the quirks. She never sells out for mass appeal – which could work against you as I feel it did in this case.

The overall problem with this CD is not the voice, not the production, not the lyrics, but the vision and the direction of the CD. There is no way that you can ever mix a Jazz (like straight throwback Jazz, some Billie Holiday type shit, not Marcus Miller), Adult Contemporary and Urban/Soul sound and expect for it to flow. But that doesn’t mean you can’t take something away from it. What is clear is that there were too many hands in this pot and luckily it doesn’t fall on Chante.

My favorite track is “Always Gonna Be Something,” primarily because Chante believed what she was singing and her intense passion was present just as it was on all of her other past works, but it also helps that the lyrics are motivational and it humanizes Chante 100%.
Other standout tracks are: It Ain’t Supposed to be this way, Guess Who I saw Today, Do For You (I love the sprinkle of Yearning For Your Love), Give Me Time.

Even though I am not 100% satisfied with the disc I am very grateful for it – I am eagerly waiting on a live concert and anything she does from here on out. If you’re a Chante Moore fan the CD is a must. If you’re just getting into Chante Moore – This is not the CD to get if you want to get a full frontal of her package, checkout Precious (her debut) and This Moment is Mine (her third) you’ll appreciate her and this CD more!

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