Sunday, 3 August 2008

Stephanie McKay - Tell It Like It Is

Tell It Like It Is the second album from New York born and raised Stephanie McKay. CDR’s of the album have been knocking around for a while now. Unfortunately it has taken almost 2 years for the general public to be able to get there hands on this eagerly awaited album due to her record label moving in the direction of indie rock, far away from Stephanie’s bona-fide soul and funk.

These record label politics led Stephanie to decide she had had enough and together with her business partner set up her own label, Muthas of Invention.

The buzz for the release of the album was instigated by the uplifting and funky 7” single Jackson Avenue (featured a couple of months ago on here and never out of my record bag since).

The album starts with title track Tell it like it is and sets the tone for the rest of the album, Stephanie’s new found self-determination and the desire to use her music as a vehicle for expressing what she is feeling and what she has seen. Gun crime, mothers grieving for children lost in Iraq, teenage pregnancy or just love or life.

The album is contemporary but is rooted in classic funk and soul, a large proportion of the album being given a live bluesy funk feel by producers Robert “Chicken” Burke and Demien Desandies. There are hip hop influences in there too, as illustrated by the aforementioned Jackson Avenue produced by Australia’s Katalyst (Stephanie appears on his album, What's Happening, out now on BBE records). Other producers on the album include Butter and Jacques Schwarz-Bart.

One of the albums of the year so far no doubt and I’m looking forward to live shows in the UK later in the year, appetites whetted by a recent PA tour in support of Lyrics Born.

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