CD Review: Nakia – Drown in the Crimson Tide (MRI, 2013)
For those who haven’t explored the nuances that differentiate The Voice from American Idol, this Voice graduate’s new EP provides good evidence. The Alabama-born, Austin-based vocalist sings soul music that’s subtle, earthy and unlikely to attract votes on American Idol (and, in fact, also left him shy of the top four spots on The Voice). But that which doesn’t catch the attention of a prime-time television audiences may have a good chance of pleasing the ears of music aficionados. Like several other Voice contestants, Nakia had already begun developing a professional music career before appearing on television. His pre-TV resume includes work with Fastball’s Miles Zuniba, backing vocals for Alejandro Escovedo’s Street Songs of Love and two solo albums. His six new originals fit easily into the neo-soul scene, adding modern touches to classic Stax and Muscle Shoals soul, gospel, blues and rhythm ‘n’ blues, and featuring superb support from the Texicali horns. Nakia may still be chasing the artistic hopes of “Dream Big” and seeking the confirmation of “Tight,” but he’s proven himself a rousing soul singer and talented songwriter.