Angela Johnson - Naturally Me
“Naturally Me”, the title of Angela Johnson's sixth solo album, says it all. With the exception of a cover of Teena Marie’s “Deja Vu”, Angela Johnson wrote and produced every track on this intimate and honest album. She shares her thoughts and feelings about matters from politics and social injustice to motherhood and relationships of the real, not manufactured, kind.
“I’m voicing my opinions about things that I think are wrong in the world today,” she says. “I’m talking about things that affect my family and community. I’m putting myself out there, even though I’ve been afraid to.”
“I want music to open something within me, to touch something few have seen. I really went outside the box with this album. I don’t want to say this is my masterpiece, but if I died tomorrow this would be it. This was the record I’ve longed to make.”
Angela began playing the piano at four and the violin at nine. At the State University of New York she formed Cooly’s Hot Box with Christian Urich. Since her solo debut in 2001 with “They Don’t Know” Angela has been steadily growing in confidence, and her stellar production work on “Naturally Me” demonstrates how far she has come. This is an artist at the top of her game – excellent songs, great arrangements and outstanding vocal performances.
She mines the spirit, energy and simpler musicality of songs from the Seventies and Eighties. She sings about keeping the home fires burning (“I Don’t Mind”), not giving up on love (“He Saw Love In Me”), cleverly fighting to make ends meet (“I Promise (M.O.N.E.Y.)”, which features a vocal and acoustic guitar cameo from Raul Midon, and sings devastatingly about the Trayvon Martin case from a mother’s perspective (“Black Boy Lullaby”).On the hand-clapping, frenetic rock, soul and gospel jamboree that is “Music Is My Religion”, Angela ventures into new territory.
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