Toni Hill reviewed on Soul

True Shine Entertainment is proud to announce that Miss Toni Hill has been reviewed on

Underground Seattle singer Toni Hill may have escaped the radar of 2009′s up-and-coming vocal talents, but that doesn’t mean she’s not deserving of such a honor. Only Love, her debut indie effort, is a stand-alone appetizer that simmers with the possibilities of a breakthrough artist. It’s hard not to associate Toni Hill’s brand of neo-soul with the intricately moody interpretations of D’Angelo, Angie Stone and Jill Scott. The tone of her music, boasting a piercing nostalgic flashback of a familiar innocence from 1990′s contemporary soul, feels so much like a lost soundtrack to one of those black chick-flicks from that period. Sure the lyrics need a bit more depth and dimension but the surrounding atmospheric instrumentation and a clean production from Amos Miller provides enough color to keep interest levels well above the norm.
The tracks, one after another, shine with its different textures and provide a colorful boutique of soul sounds, even if they feel short or slightly underdeveloped.  “Vibe Out,” strutting a delicious set of funky organ chords and an accompanying rap solo from Soul Planna, and the Erykah Badu-ish sexy pacing of “Shoo Bee” highlight the soulful adventure. While digging into a spiritual-sensual bond, “Love Is” uses I Corinthians 13 as its lyrical template while sporting a cool enough vibe to rock a Grand Theft Auto soundtrack. “This Thing Called Love” places Hill in an euphoric intimate room a la Minnie Riperton on “Loving You;” only surrounded by gentle piano chords.. “Coffee Shop” is as sultry as Eric Benet’s “Chocolate Legs” and as rewarding as Angie Stone’s “Brotha.” And, the rewarding finale’ “It’s Real” and “Rose,” a story about a lost father figure, flutters with such slick and impeccable jazz undertones that it tastes like an easy-going brew of morning java.
Only Love is a rich cremé de la cremé musical affair; exploring vintage elements of classic ‘70s soul and the good vibrations of contemporary R&B soul of the ‘90s. For Hill, it gives her a swinging advantage as an indie to further explore modern neo-soul’s musings without being relegated to a radio-hungry popularity contest. Probably the biggest hurdle encompassing Only Love’s layout is the lack of a big single: a track that will single-handedly launch Hill into superstardom amongst soul purists. But, the album, jammed with ear-tingling grooves and barely exhibiting a dry track, can be enjoyed for what it is. Whether it’s used just for background lounge music or for the ultimate cruising soundtrack, the listening experience is bound to guarantee good results. Recommended.
~ By J. Matthew Cobb

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