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Tell It Like It Is / Stephanie McKay

Stephanie McKay - Tell It Like It Is

Muthas of Invention

Finally! We’ve been waiting over a year since the original release date but the sophomore project by Stephanie McKay is here. “Tell It Like It Is” is gritty no holds barred soul with a 70’s vibe. Not to mention the passion and intensity that we heard on her debut “McKay” in 2003. The disc starts with the title track in which she laments on the problems that surrounds her community in particular and in the world in general. She advises a young girl to avoid some of the mistakes she made at her age. The wah wah guitar is a perfect compliment to this funky track. “Jackson Avenue” is the perfect summertime jam.. It evokes images of kids playing in the street and relying on the fire hydrants sprouting cool water for relief from the heat. The compostion has a classic Holland-Dozier-Holland sound and would’ve fit in perfectly in the Motown catalogue sans the Eric B & Rakim samples that add spice to the track. “Where Did Our Love Go” is a sweet ballad that features soul crooner Anthony Hamilton. With just twelve tracks, this disc sticks to the strong material and lays off the filler. One year after the EP of the same name, Stephanie McKay delivers with a disc full of soulful tasty treats that touches on social issues and everyday life experiences. This certainly emerges as one of best records of 2008 and an much needed voice to breathe life into soul music.

Reg Dancy, 08/08