Monday, January 13, 2014

Niva the Soul Diva -- Unrivaled

A lot of people like to describe this blog as eclectic. I guess that's true -- I feel like it's all pretty much spun from the same cloth. I do my best to ensure that there's diversity here -- not just in terms of genre or region, but in terms of gender as well. But there's one area where the eclecticism is notably absent. Other than the funk and soul reissues from Alive Naturalsound, the adobe on here is pretty whitewashed.

My writing about Niva is not really intended as tokenism, but maybe it is. Really, it's about favoritism. I noticed that her PR rep had a 718 number (ie, Brooklyn or the Bronx) and thought I'd give her a spin. What does it say about our culture that I find myself better able to relate to a folksinger in Saskatchewan than someone who lives a couple of miles from me? Or is that a bad thing?

So here's a novice's take on Niva's R&B. Personally, I preferred the slower songs like "Look Inside Your Heart" and "Come On And Dance With Me." That has more to do with my personal tastes, though; the more hip-hop-oriented tracks are a little old school for me. With all due respect to Niva's producers, I'm sure my students would have a thing or two to say about the beats.

Niva is able to adapt herself to a whole spectrum of R&B genres (which I'm not going try to list), so it's worth taking a listen if the tracks provided here pique your interest but don't necessarily click with you. But the album compensates for where it lacks in production value with the one commonality shared by all of the artists featured here: pride and commitment.

Look Inside Your Heart

Come On And Dance With Me

You Broke Me Apart

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