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Abby Dobson: Sleeping Beauty

LadyBraveBird Music

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The long-awaited debut by NYC soulful songstress Abby Dobson is what is euphemistically referred to as "grown folks music." Accordingly, it exemplifies the best and worst of the subgenre. Sultry live jazz musicians, exquisite singing, and plenty of material about love, heartbreak and female self-realization (notice how men almost never self-actualize in soul?). Dobson has a full-bodied, emotional instrument that deserves an audience. That said, in choosing to self-pen and produce so much of her blues-heavy material, Dobson maintains an ennui-inducing sameness with acoustic-driven jam sessions, a lack of hooky melodies, and a pervasive melancholia that would be fine if every song didn't clock in at five minutes or more. Still, cuts like "Deeply," "Sleeping Beauty..." and "Born 2 Luv U" reveal the singer's promise. (3 out of 5 stars)

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