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CD Review: Althea Rene – In The Moment

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There’s always a girl that somehow just has a spark to her. It’s kind of like going out with the finest woman in the room, but realizing that her best friend is equally fine and much more interesting. A native of Detriot, Althea Rene is that other girl, and In The Moment should make them take notice.

As I imagine it, I see her entering the door of the Jazz club as that other friend in the title track. A very low-key smooth jazz track that while has a bit of the familiar, carries within itself a bit something extra towards the end. When she sits herself down at the table and you meet her face to face, you begin your getting-to-know you conversation. With “I Can,” she lets her flute-playing slow down so that she can envelope you in her world while answering your questions as to whether she can be the woman you want.

Hearts begin to flutter with the surprisingly refreshing upbeat “Campari Juice” as you and Miss Rene begin to get more comfortable with each other. You two get to the dance floor and begin to sway to the song for awhile. Then, around the fourth song on the album, she’s ready to sing to you.

“More Than You Know” brings Althea’s sultry voice to the mic as she dedicates this one to someone who could possibly have a future with her. Now you seriously have an interest as you stand there and watch her tickle your soul with this song, but the night is unfortunately over and you have to go back to your girlfriend.

Throughout the days of your regular week, her “Midday Grind” helps you ease to a hip-hop beat through your regular work days. You play it in your bathroom as you ready to leave, and in your car as you battle the traffic. You even keep it on low volume as you slightly jam to it at your desk. You even play it again when you get to your car again and leave for home.

You forget about it until you come inside your house and find a message on your machine: she wants to spend some time alone with you at her place. On her track, “One-Night Love Affair”, she lets you in with a smooth reggae touch to her voice and undresses you her own version of Jamaican soul.

After your session of love, you dance yourself down to your kitchen with “Number One” as you make her some breakfast and acquire the morning paper from her front door as she hums over the cool keyboard and flute melody that sets it off. After a short interlude from the story you’ve made with Miss Rene on “Me, Myself and I” (a remake of the Beyonce hit), you settle back into the daily grind of work and of your newfound relationships with “And She Said.”

In this song, she shows you that she’s not just a temptress with a nice voice, but that she actually has a move on her life. She wants the house clean, and she wants the toilet seat down with no fuss. After doing your part, she comes home happy to a warm house and an understanding partner in crime with “When You’re Around.”

What I’ve described is pretty much the feelings and events that make a relationship and even love itself. If that’s what Althea Rene was attempting to achieve her with this album, then she succeeded. I only ask that you not judge the CD as another smooth jazz staple. Take a listen to the CD as a whole and you’ll find a woman who’s more than a single genre can define.

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About Matthew Milam