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

Mark Lanegan: Imitations (Heavenly/PIAS)

Mark Lanegan: Imitations (Heavenly/PIAS)

Pity anyone collecting the complete works of Mark Lanegan who not only runs a solo career but has been a gravitas-filled voice in Screaming Trees, QOTSA, the Gutter Twins, Soulsavers, Twilight... > Read more

The Felice Brothers; Tonight at the Arizona (Shock) BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2007

The Felice Brothers; Tonight at the Arizona (Shock) BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2007

Although perhaps too referencing of Dylan and the Band holed up in the basement of the Big Pink, that doesn't mean this shakily delivered collection of Americana from these three brothers and a... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Sue's homemade limoncello

Sue's homemade limoncello

Few homemade liqueurs are the equal of a good limoncello, and this speciality of central Italy can be very easy to make. The secret we tell you immediately is to invest in a decent vodka. I've... > Read more

Joanne Shaw Taylor: Diamonds in the Dirt (Ruf)

Joanne Shaw Taylor: Diamonds in the Dirt (Ruf)

It would be easy to describe -- and acclaim -- this fiery British singer-guitarist as a blues artist, and she is. But there's more to her than that. Certainly she can peel off blazing solos... > Read more