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I Hear Sparks: Lisa B – The Poetry of Groove

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Funky, fresh and sexy as all hell, Lisa B’s The Poetry of Groove is an impressive collection of remixes and new pieces.

The beauty of what Lisa B (Lisa Bernstein) does is wrapped up in her seamless blending of jazz, hip-hop, soul, spoken word and popular music. Her approach to her craft is invigorating, cementing herself as an artist excited to take risks and make moves that other artists might stray from. Lisa B makes the blend work, oozing sexuality and clever cool without coming across as pompous or tacky.

The Poetry of Groove builds on her musical catalogue to date, working with records like Free Me for the Joy and What’s New, Pussycat? Tunes & Tales About Cool Cats. Featuring five remixes of her older tunes and five new tracks, it’s a mischievous and blistering compilation of work that forms the perfect vibe to warm up a cold winter’s night.

Bolstered by her pedigree as a poet, Lisa B’s command of lyricism is manifest with each piece. She is, after all, the author of two books of poetry (Anorexia and The Transparent Body) and it shows in her approach to songwriting. Lisa B paints pictures with her command of language, going beyond uncomplicated metaphors to tell entire stories with her art.

The title track is given the privilege of three separate mixes, forming the foundation for the record with its smooth grooves and slick beats. The “Jazzy Chill Mix” starts the record off with polished beats and Lisa B’s spoken word vocals. She’s alluring, venturing through various tones and moods throughout the course of the song. The “Edit of Jazzy Chill Mix” closes the record in similar fashion, while the “House Mix” packs in a danceable beat.

“Be Electric (Electronica Remix)” is a sophisticated, sleek cut that makes great use out of Lisa’s hushed, breathy tones and funky witticisms.

The remastered “Trane’s Ride (Naima)” is my favourite song on the record. It uses Coltrane’s piece to underline Lisa’s deeply seductive lyrics, creating fiery waves of sensuality and sexiness. The beat, provided by James Richard’s drum and bass programming, pulsates and vibrates in time to Lisa’s hot vocal performance.

Other cuts, like “Get the Signal” and “Virtual Kiss,” allow Lisa to do more singing. She shows off her jazz pipes, gracefully dancing through various tones and moods with delight and style.

All in all, The Poetry of Groove is a sexy and exciting collection of tunes from one of the most daring and deft performers I’ve come across in a while. Lisa B is a treat, representing what can happen when talent and a desire to try anything mingle over cool, slick beats.

About Jordan Richardson