I was afraid to review dream big. I pondered and procrastinated. I held it in my hands and flipped through the liner notes as I marveled over the beautiful warm colors used in the cover design.
I was afraid that I didn’t have the “intellectual musical background” to “adequately analyze and review” a rhythm, blues, and soul project.
Jeff, my husband, loves to hear the new pieces I review, and after a few minutes of silence from my writing studio, he came to the door.
“I can’t do this. I don’t know enough.”
He flipped through the liner notes. “Do you know what you like? Do you enjoy reading what others write? Does music makes you feel?”
“Then, you don’t have a problem. You know enough. Just be yourself.”
He was right.
I listened and I learned. Sakai has co-written the songs on her newest project and the writing is poetic and concise, with each set of lyrics telling a story. dream big tells tales of inspiration, trepidation, aggravation and escalation. Sakai’s voice is clear and strong and she sings about what she knows – what we all know. Stories about the quest for love and the newness of relationships. The unexpected turns when friendship leads to romance and the courage it takes when a relationship reaches a point where enough is enough. You will also hear words of encouragement for disparaging and indecisive times.
Sakai’s artistic style taught me that the term rhythm and blues is not something to research, it’s something to feel. I wanted to sing, dance, jeer and cheer. By sharing the most artistic part of her soul, Sakai taught me about mine.
Family Tree Productions
1. I Like
2. I Need Something
3. Can’t Bring Me Down
4. Friendship 2 Love
5. Nothin’ I Can Do
6. Get Up 2 Get Down
7. Don’t Touch Me Like That
8. Leap of Faith
9. Gonna Be Fine
10. A Place Between
12. More Than I should (part 2)
14. Know It By Now
15. Yesterday’s Touch
16. C U Tonite
17. Dream Big
Get Up 2 Get Down - This friendly ‘bit of relationship advice’ has great beats and Sakai doesn’t miss one of them. Her voice is strong and her unique style gives this piece just the right attitude.
Leap of Faith - This song has so much meaning. I really felt it reflected our current times and the struggles so many of us face when we take on new projects and directions.
A Place Between - This song is an incredible showcase for Sakai’s voice which is flawless, simply accented by guitar and soft percussion.
Tired - This song is a blast! It was fun to dance to and I even did a little of that “singing with my hairbrush in front of the mirror” action.
Dream Big - Inspiring and beautiful.
This is an intense project. Seventeen tracks on one CD is a gold mine. And . . . a great gift idea for yourself, or your favorite R & B enthusiast.
I will talk to you again soon.
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