Stephanie Nicole ‘Soulutionary One’ (BBE Music) 4/5

stephanie-nicoleSoulutionary One opens with a hypnotic track: “Diligence”. I find myself drifting. The voice on this song reminds me of someone… tones reminiscent of Siouxsie Sioux, but then they evaporate, Stephanie Nicole’s voice emerges triumphantly smooth, sweet and captivating. Soulutionary One is the new album by California-based singer-songwriter Stephanie Nicole. It is simply revolutionary. It awakens the soul, it speaks in a universal language. Stephanie’s “About” page on her website quotes: “All art is but imitation of nature” – Lucius Seneca. We have to bear this in mind, it is an important message and it is clear within the album. Listening not just hearing. Encompassing all levels, Ms Nicole manages to offer the listener an incredibly innovative album. Oustanding tracks, like the title track and “Be Strong” are only a few examples. It is beautiful to hear those soft notes, mellow and yet decisive, sink into one’s head and heart. Soulutionary One is too intoxicating and needs to be played over and over. Be Strong is moving and tender. And then “Maha Meditation” follows, 3 minutes and 41 seconds of pure bliss and intriguing sound. One is left wanting more.

Stephanie Nicole’s collaboration with producer and writer Craig Perkins, aka Classroom Craig, needs re-emphasizing. The perfect combination, it needs to stay and be taken forward so we will all be getting incredible works from Ms Nicole, always, like this very last album. One can perceive several influences in her music, rock, classical, jazz, and the always present message of the spiritual: never to be forgotten. Love, another universal theme present on the album, never to be taken for granted. “Vow of nevers” – a poem in itself, reduces one to tears. “Soulutionary One” deserves the listener’s complete attention. One will find delving into Ms Nicole’s world over and over. Play it in full and until it wears out. Absolute gem.

“I have been deeply affected by the healing of the arts” – Stephanie Nicole

Erminia Yardley