Album Reviews

Avery*Sunshine – The SunRoom (Shanachie)

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Avery Sunshine The Sun RoomAvery*Sunshine’s honeyed alto voice is so charming and so honest that she ought to be the U.S. musical ambassador. Sunshine’s second album of original R&B and soul songs reveals an optimistic, skillful singer-songwriter-pianist with plenty of heart. A fixture on Atlanta’s indie scene, she’s played keyboards for Tyler Perry’s play, Meet the Browns, and served as the choral director in the Jennifer Holiday-starring production of Dreamgirls in Atlanta. Together with Dana “Big Dane” Johnson (guitar, vocals), she’s played with Musiq Soulchild and B.B. King. This new album showcases Sunshine and Johnson with subtle, shoulder-movin’ grooves, sleek, textured backup vocals and touches of electronica.

Her memorable lyrics are often faith-based, yet never preachy. On the tender “Won’t You Try,” she sings, “Yeah, Daddy,” to the Daddy Of Us All, “Come set us free.“ She believes each of us can find our own life path, as “See You When I Get There” illustrates.  Softly, firmly, she insists, “You might go left and I might choose to go right but I’ll see you when I get there.” On the ogspel closer, “Safe In His Arms,” her beautiful voice finally lets loose, reaching her maximum power and range, making each word clear while giving us the gift of her whole heart. The most appealing song here is “Time To Shine,” an easy, joyful anthem of encouragement. With its catchy, sing-along chorus and bright horn section, “Time To Shine” is destined for movie soundtracks and show choirs. The SunRoom clearly indicates that Avery*Sunshine is destined for a wider audience.

– Annie Dinerman

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