One of the last active members of what used to be the neo-soul movement India.Arie is back on the scene with a brand new album due out this Tuesday entitled Songversation.
Admittedly I was a bit thrown by the title of her album Songversation, not that I didn’t get it, clearly its a play on the words “song” and “conversation”, and the idea of having a conversation through song. That’s totally fine, but putting them together in a word that sounds dangerously close to a word I vehemently oppose (“conversate”), it just seemed a little dumbed down for India’s skills as a wordsmith. On the bright side however, that’s the only qualm we have with this album.
With her 5th studio album, and as always, India is impeccable with her lyricism and delivery. Much like her other albums, India explores a varied number of topics, inspirational messages, calls to arms, and introspective moments that are always so descriptively naked and astutely assessed that whether or not you’re experiencing what she’s singing about, you can undoubtedly understand. My favorite track on the album is a song called Life I Know in which she sings about realizing where exactly she is in her life, having moments of pensive concern, but overall being content with the life she’s living. The strength of the song is that it’s something we can all relate to; comparing ourselves to friends and peers and at times not feeling as though we are where we should be, but her words are so much more articulate and considerate of the actual FEELINGS we experience while having these thoughts, that the song never once feels like a pity party or a “woe is me” anthem, but instead leaves you hanging on to the last notes feeling noticeably more at peace than when the song started three minutes prior.
Another song that gets honorable mention is the track Flowers, which has a really nice traditional Indian music moment for the chorus that India mirrors with the arrangement of her harmonies. Sonically, this song is science, a lesson in technique, and like I said before there’s no shortage of substance with this album.
India’s Songversation will be available everywhere this coming Tuesday June 25th and I’m telling you, you’ll really want to own this one.