Review Summary: Selah Sue seems to be searching for her path, while doing a good work showing the diversity on what her voice and writing is capable to do.
Selah Sue is a Belgian singer which brings a whole lot of influences such as Jazz, Soul and Dub to her music. She has an interesting tone of voice, which is at the same time acute and a little hoarse, being “The Asteroids Galaxy Tour” the first comparison that appears in my mind. “Selah Sue” is her first LP and bring a big range of different vibes, what is a good way to show a lot of facets of her potential as a singer but otherwise failing in constructing a concise effort.
What I mean is that this LP sound a little like a mixtape, there are dub jazz tunes, with reminiscences of pop as the opening track “This World”, immediately followed by a hip hop influenced black hit “Peace of mind”, and suddenly there are pop songs, there are reggae songs, there are folk acoustic songs and It goes on a bricolage of all that has became somewhat traditional in recently soul/jazz/pop acts, such as Amy Winehouse and the new possible phenomenon Lianne La Havas.
Of course diversity is not essentially a problem, there are a bunch of very diversified albums that are classics by all means, but with Selah Sue it sounds a little like she is still in search of her path, and maybe she is in on the right way. There are some really cool moments in this album, catchy chorus, well done bass lines, interesting electronic influences and a mellow guitar. Selah works well on all this, she Is for sure a good vocalist, not a screamer nor a virtuous diva of course, but her singular tone of voice fix well in most of the several styles she delivers here.
Songs like “Crazy Vibes” and the fore-mentioned “This World” are very well done works of pop with infectious themes. Despite of its flaws and moments of lack of creativity, the good moments somewhat stands for it, it's groovy and danceable.
The second half of the album is mostly acoustic and soft sung, pop ballads, folk songs with emotional interpretations, and where Selah brings more her singer-songwriter side, at the same time sounding very pop influenced. With songs like “Mommy” and “Please” Selah Sue may sound a little uninteresting, a little exaggerated in using clichés that she could use in her favor. At least it's nothing irreversible as we can see in songs as “Crazy Suffering Style” and “Fyah Fyah” where things get more diversified and cool, sometimes even lovely.
Selah Sue has a good vocal tone, together with interesting ideas when in the right mood. I can say that she seems to be on the right way to a more concise work. Maybe with a more precise stylistic construction we will have on hands a very enjoyable follow up to this album.