Miss Black and the Light: Black Light (Ode)

 |   |  1 min read

Miss Black and the Light: Don't Stop
Miss Black and the Light: Black Light (Ode)

It seems a shame the reggae-driven grooves are pushed right to the front end of this otherwise interesting album because that sound has become, as previously noted at Elsewhere, such a default position for so many New Zealand artists.

Miss Black (Ngapata Black, daughter of the great Whirimako Black) finds a real point of diference when she gets into a more soulful style (the steamy midnight mood of Don't Stop, Notice Me)  . . . but material like the reggae-riddum Chillin here has so much more going for it (matters of culture, spiritual homes and pride are addressed) that the lightweight groove undermines the message.

I Think I kicks along neatly over a ska rhythm which mixes things up and is a highly addictive slice of soul-pop at the same time. 

And on So In Love -- which veers between intimate ballad and hard rock push -- she shows she can ride out a firestorm of rock guitars with confidence. Hush -- a real repeat play track -- has cool, subtle funk going on and again she brings something special in her delivery as she slips around the lyrics and rhythm, then cracks out "where were you when I needed you?" with contained rage.

And He Maimai Aroha at the end is just her vocal over a scratchy percussion and spare keyboards where the smart production makes her sound like an ancient voice reaching from a deeply spiritual waiata into this new century.

So get past the overly familiar reggae grooves and there are some seriously good songs and singing here. 

Like the sound of this? Then check out this.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

Beirut; The Flying Club Cup BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2007

Beirut; The Flying Club Cup BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2007

Ambitious and slightly eccentric pop music doesn't come much more ambitious and eccentric as this, the second album by Zach Condon (aka Beirut), an American with a European sensibility whose... > Read more

They Might Be Giants: Join Us (Rounder)

They Might Be Giants: Join Us (Rounder)

Like Jonathan Richman and Weezer, New York's They Might Be Giants had nerdy charm when they emerged some 15 albums ago and it was fun to hear them on the theme to Malcolm in the Middle and... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Various Artists: The Rough Guide to Indian Classical Music (2014)

Various Artists: The Rough Guide to Indian Classical Music (2014)

Elsewhere makes judiciously considered entries under its Essential Elsewhere albums, and we avoid the obvious (no compilations, greatest hits and so on). Those are easy options and anyone with a... > Read more

Dee's classic Kiwi cheese rolls

Dee's classic Kiwi cheese rolls

Dee says having spent the first 10 years of her life in Southland, every Kiwi should experience the warming delights of cheese rolls. Winter is a comin' on folks and Dee recommends this simple... > Read more