R&B, Blues, Soul & Stax

Elephant In The Room

07 OCT 09 DAVID NATHAN

Hip soul music fans have known about N'Dambi since the 1999 release of her debut Little Girl Blues and the follow-up Tunin' Up & Cosignin'. Now, with her new Stax release Pink Elephant, the Dallas-born singer-songwriter is ready to move on up and expand her audience.

The former backup vocalist for Erykah Badu wisely chose Leon Sylvers III -- the veteran producer responsible for many classic hits in the '70s by Gladys Knight, Shalamar and The Whispers -- to work on her major label debut. The result is a truly solid album that has all the musical flavor of a nostalgic opus combined with N'Dambi's thought-provoking lyricism. Notable for being an honest soulful storyteller, N'Dambi has pulled out all the stops for this career milestone set.

With "L.I.E." N'Dambi uses the metaphor of a journey on the famous Long Island Expressway to paint a vivid picture of a man living a double life. The first single and video "Can't Hardly Wait" expresses the age-old conflict that comes from sticking with the familiar rather than breaking free from an unhealthy relationship.

Famed songwriter Rod Temperton brought the evocative "Nobody Jones" to this sumptuous soul set. And with "Ooo Baby" and "Mind Blowin'" (inspired by the work of Isaac Hayes on the '70s blaxploitation movie Truck Turner), N'Dambi and Sylvers give old school themes and sounds new life. Pink Elephant promises to satisfy those who've followed N'Dambi from the jump while introducing her to those folks who love their soul music straight up, no chaser.