Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Pop, R&B, Rock
Daughter of working-class Jamaica-to-England transplants, Tasmin Archer has a terrific voice--a soprano with plenty of power even in the lower gears of the conversational verses but capable of erupting on the choruses into... more »
Daughter of working-class Jamaica-to-England transplants, Tasmin Archer has a terrific voice--a soprano with plenty of power even in the lower gears of the conversational verses but capable of erupting on the choruses into a siren wails that can sustain of single syllables as long as she wants. When she grabs hold of a juicy melody, as she does on "Arienne" (a transparent rewrite of the Hollies' "Carrie- Anne"), she sounds like Annie Lennox against the synth-pop backing. Unfortunately, Archer's songwriting partners are isn't not Dave Stewart but guitarist John Hughes and keyboardist John Beck, who have none of the Eurythmics' knack for hooks and humor. Instead Archer is handed 11 very somber tunes with lyrics that circle serious issues like ecology, women's rights, and class injustice without ever quite grabbing hold of them. --Geoffrey Himes
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Member CD Reviews
Barbara M. (Babe) from NEW YORK, NY
Reviewed on 3/10/2007...
This very original performer is an exciting young new talent, and I've enjoyed listening to her performances. Nice CD.
An elusive but memorable soul-folk-rock blend.
D. Mok | Los Angeles, CA | 01/25/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Even if you don't know who Tasmin Archer is, you may have heard her debut single "Sleeping Satellite". While not a huge hit, this was one of the most distinctive mainstream songs of the '90s. Not quite R&B, not quite folk rock, and not quite ambient, the song almost guarantees that once you hear it, you won't forget it.
On her debut, Archer was a little similar to Tracy Chapman in her presentation -- a young black woman who didn't belong directly to an R&B/soul genre, with songwriting and arrangements that beckon more to white traditions -- confessional folk in the case of Chapman, and polished pop/rock in the case of Archer. But both artists were able to add a distinctive flavour to their music with a huskier, soul-inflected vocal style, and so Chapman's folk songs and Archer's radio-friendly pop-rock sound like nobody else, both harmonious black-white amalgams with unique personalities.
"Sleeping Satellite" was a hugely impressive debut single, all the more so because it's a very low-key song. The melodies don't soar, the arrangements are subtle and even (a chiming piano, acoustic guitars mixed very far back), and the backbeat stays in a quiet, pensive groove.
But somehow it sounds anthemic (the larger-than-life lyrics help), another one of those songs you feel like should have been written a long time ago. Archer has more tricks up her sleeve, though -- "Arienne" is Byrdsian folk rock in the classic car-radio tradition, but "Lords of the New Church" is high-energy rock, harkening to Bruce Springsteen, and "Somebody's Daughter" is a moody midtempo rock number with a memorable lyric hook but a very Europop string section which spices up the arrangement nicely.
I'd stumbled upon Archer's music once again while going through my music library randomly, and putting on this record reminds me of the dozens of times I've spun this CD since I'd first bought it way back in 1992. It's a record that ages gracefully, sounding as up to date as it did 12 years ago, and Archer's appealing musical mix continues to delight."
She Came Before The World Was Ready
D. Mok | 11/14/1998
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Unfortunately for Tasmin Archer, this album came years before the Lilith Fair phenomenon. Nowadays, women rockers singing about women's issues are as common as bad music reviews. But considering 1993, a date which even pre-dates the Internet as we know it, women balladeers were still very much uncommon. Not nonexistent, just uncommon. Black women balladeers were and are especially rare. She's no Joan Armatrading, she's no Tracy Chapman. She's Tasmin Archer, and she's in a class by herself. Tasmin Archer simply came on the scene too soon to be appreciated. This is a great album.I fell in love with this as soon as it came out years ago...I was hoping it would at least be nominated for a Grammy; I wanted Tasmin Archer to win best new artist...I don't think she was even nominated, but the first Seal album came out that year, too, and didn't win, so this at least is a testament to the worthlessness of the Grammy Awards.I'm very seldom excited by female singers...I have never been a fan of high voices. Johnny Mathis is about the highest voice I can handle! Tasmin's range is right up my alley. All ten songs are are GREAT. I can listen to my Great Expectations CD all day with my ears intact.Sleeping Satellite may have been the single, but the best song, out of ten very good songs, is When It Comes Down To it. This song is definitely soundtrack material, and I hope a movie picks it up, if only to rekindle interest in this wonderful album.Tasmin is backed up by two very capable musicians. I especially like the guitar work in Somebody's Daughter.If ever there was a case of somebody dropping the ball in the promotion department, it is the case of Great Expectations. It's a crying shame this recording didn't get more PR.Oh, and for the record, I love the messages in this song, and I got them LOUD AND CLEAR!"