Review: Shaheen – rEvolution

Back in 2005, Shaheen Sheik released her debut record ‘Rock Candy’. Although it revealed plenty of promise, it was a typical first album effort where the artist seemed to be trying out different genres to work out which ones suited her best. As it happens, the follow-up record covers a similar range but also contains higher production values and better songwriting.

Shaheen CD Cover

That said the first song represents a false start. Night Call’s key line of “this is the tale of the girl who grew up” seems rather forced and doesn’t convince on either a cerebral or visceral level. Ironically, the title track which follows it sounds like the work of someone a lot younger and it’s modern girlie pop is far more attractive. Even better is ‘Coconut’ where Sheik is assisted by slick rhythms and beats. At this point she reminds me of a one-woman Sugababes.

However, Sheik has a number of strings to her bow. ‘Dainty Lady’ is the first number which embraces Sheik’s Indian heritage and contains a seductive tune whereas the similarly Eastern-flavoured ‘Play With Me’ opts for vocal acrobatics. All good stuff but my favourite moment occured six tracks in as the warm, soulful sounds of ‘In You’ make an appearance; not only does it feature a neat drum and bass-led chorus but also Sheik’s finest performance in front of the mic. The only other track I didn’t appreciate was the final one ‘Elevate’; in contrast to the first song it sounds too immature. Overall, once again Sheik demonstrates an impressive range of styles but crucially ‘rEvolution’ still sounds like the work of one artist and this is definitely an improvement on the potential of ‘Rock Candy’.

‘Revolution’ will be available to purchase from May 15th.

Web Sites:
Shaheen Sheik Official Site
Shaheen’s MySpace

Further Listening:
Sugababes

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