Jimmie Ja “Time To Shine” (Brittney Records 2012) 5/5

Jimmie_jaI’m taking you back to 2012 for a review of an album that so far has stood the test of time, albeit short, refusing to be filed away here at home. It’s a 9 tracker and quite a rarity in these times in that it’s a total album, no need to skip any tracks, his voice is straight out of the old school, raw, gritty and so obviously black with a southern drawl – just how I like my soul. There I’ve mentioned the dreaded word ‘Southern’. Yes this is a southern soul album, but there’s no horns or Hammond to spice it up, just simple instrumentation to enable us to focus on this superb voice. They are all on here of course, ballads, strollers and dancers, the ballad “I Wanna Thank You” will have you listening intently as he thanks his woman for loving him, the mid tempo stroller “Twenty Four Seven” is a sublime piece of soul music and yes our man is up for it 24/7, vocally supreme on every level, “Loving You” & “Here I am” are both mid tempo dancers. The big track on here is the mid tempo sumptuous stroller “Can We Try”, this got major plays out on all the good radio shows and for my part I’ve dropped it out at the Soul4Real weekender in Bilbao and over here at Soul Essence to huge response. He’s in full flow too, pleading for his woman to give them another chance. Wonderful soul music.

At the time of writing (Feb 2014) this is still a download only, but is widely available from the likes of CD Baby, iTunes, Amazon and EMusic, plus you can find the odd track dotted about on YouTube. No excuse then for you to experience the voice that is Jimmie Ja!

I hate and detest this MP3 download only music, there’s little or no information on the artist, the musicians, producers, the studio etc., and as with this case all attempts to contact the singer have failed. To some, downloads are very much the future, but for me, it’s a massive step backwards and its made the music very disposable too, putting distance between us and the artist thus preventing the artist from building any sort of rapport with his/her audience. You can’t beat an official CD release, complete with sleeve notes and track listing. Rant over, enjoy the music.

Soul On.

Brian Goucher