Wild Belle: Isles (Columbia, 2013)

March 24, 2013 at 10:42 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Wild Belle: Isles

Wild Belle: Isles

Elliot Bergman from NOMO started a group with his sister Natalie. They released an excellent 12″ a year ago (the first and last tracks on this album), and now they’re on a major label, playing major TV shows, and just getting the major “up-and-coming band” hype. As a longtime NOMO fan, this project definitely sounds like a logical extension of that band’s sound into the realm of pop music. There’s still the tight Afrobeat rhythms and horns, some dubby reggae elements, but a bit more streamlined and poppy than NOMO. Natalie’s vocals do a sleek neo-soul thing, kind of like Amy Winehouse but not nearly as much of a powerhouse. Elliot takes the mic during “When It’s Over”, warning someone that “he’s no good for you”. Otherwise, it’s Natalie’s show. 1, 8, 10 are the most reggae-heavy cuts, 4 is maybe the most Afrobeat-inspired. Really a solid album, I’m curious if it’ll actually live up to the hype.

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