Album Reviews

Annika Chambers

Wild & Free

Artist:     Annika Chambers

Album:     Wild & Free Under

Label:     Under The Radar Music

Release Date:     08/26/2016

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Annika Chambers relaunches her career, after a few years gap, with a rollicking, hi-octane sophomore album that screams and shimmers with twelve towering tracks, all blues-tinged and delivered with a stunningly powerful and soulful voice.

Since her debut album in 2014, Making My Mark, Chambers has been rejuvenated with a studio backing outfit that includes some of the finest sidemen on the planet; Mike Finnigan, Jon Cleary and Johnny Shell all add their combined weight to the studio project, easing into the music with a delightful laid-back, soul-blues vibe. Chambers also flexes her song-writing muscles here with three self-penned tracks alongside numbers such as the late, great Otis Clay’s wonderful “City In The Sky” and Luther Allison’s opening track, “Ragged and Dirty.” Add another track from southern soul wizard Darryl Carter, “Give Up Myself,” written specially for Chambers, and you begin to get a handle on the likely strength and value of this offering.

Chambers, from Texas, pours her all into the vocals, with her lifetime of singing Gospel music echoing rampantly throughout the album. This is a lady with a huge, gripping, soulful voice and a determination to push aside the boundaries of soul and blues music, delivering a new release that genuinely grabs and grips the listener every time.

Overall Wild & Free is just that, wildy wonderful and loose and free, with powerhouse vocals that drive the package along at full tilt. A truly worthwhile return to the music from a Texan lady with a huge voice and a surely starlit career up ahead.

-Iain Patience

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