Honeyed and Husky Jazz-Lite For The Younger Generation.
I wasn’t sure what to make of Lady Nade when I first played this album. In part that’s because it’s got a quite commercial ‘sound’ to it and very Jazzy in parts too; but why, pray, I now think, should that be a problem?
The more I’ve played SAFE PLACE, the more it’s grown on me; especially now that the sun is shining.
The bouncy Looking For Love gets the show on the road in a way Joan Armatrading did many moons ago, mixing clever songwriting with a ‘pop’ back-beat, supplied; it has to be said, by some ingenious musicians, who may be ‘Jazzers’ at heart but certainly not afraid of a melody.
‘That’ description is also fitting for a few more songs here; most notably Please You, Natalie and especially the wonderful title track Safe Place too.
While Paul Isaac and Daniel Everett’s production makes just about every song ‘radio friendly (and that’s no bad thing btw) it doesn’t take too much of a stretch to think that the songs Sweet Honey Bee and the electro-pop of Keep Our Love Alive can be easily stripped back to join the acoustic tracks Half Empty and Heart of Mine and become both heart-stoppers AND showstoppers when Lady Nade performs then in concert, without the aid of any electronic wizardry.
With so much filling the senses among these 15 (FIFTEEN!) songs, and often sweeping from genre to genre with consummate ease choosing a Favourite isn’t easy; with the final two epic songs Heart Beats Strong (Part I) takes Lady Nade very close to Sade territory, so therefore has to be a contenders as do La La Larve ( A Deja Vu Refrain) and Drive Home Safely where she turns herself into something of a Jazz Diva in the mould of Cleo Laine (and not a million miles from where I thought Amy Winehouse was headed) but I’m going for a different song with Please You; which combines all that is best here and not just Lady Nade’s sonic songwriting; but the way she uses her voice to feel like a velvet fog of emotion.
Now I’m deep into these songs, I’m not sure which appeals to me most; Lady Nade’s intricate and heartfelt songwriting or her warm and husky voice and when you put the pair together, music lovers of all persuasions are onto a winner.