Thursday, July 11, 2013

Lisa Keith-Walkin' In The Sun (1993)


I didn't get a chance to go walking in the sun outdoors like I wanted to yesterday, but at least I get to do some 'walking in the sun'—of a different sort, that is—here and now as the rays of music bliss shine down on us from pop heaven. Although my mind is still set on rewind to the 80's, I'm always happy to interrupt the flashback in order to present a sparkling gem from my music collection—the latest one being "Walkin' In The Sun", the first and, I believe, only album by Lisa Keith. So glad I snagged this one when I did! A super rarity nowadays, and pop lovers are gonna adore every minute of it! Now that I think about it, this post really isn't so far removed from the 80's, as some may recall that the vocally talented Lisa Keith was a prominent figure in that memorable decade, having served as backup for a wide variety of other artists, including the renowned pop/r&b princess Janet Jackson. In fact, I'd just listened to the hit song from 1988 on one of Janet's greatest hits compilations—"Diamonds"—where she and Lisa collaborated together with jazz sensation Herb Alpert on trumpet instrumentals. Further, the renowned hit-making production team of Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, who produced a lot of Janet's hits on her "Control" and "Rhythm Nation 1814" albums, make their presence felt here on "Walkin' In The Rain" as well, so Janet fans know in advance about the style of music that Lisa brought to the table when she recorded these fourteen tracks. Stretching that idea about the 80's even more, there's a trio of terrific slow jams that actually sound like they came from the 80's: "Love Is Alive And Well", "Days Like These" and "Closer". All have exceptionally marvelous instrumental accompaniments (I, for one, favor the jazzy sax on "Days Like These" and the orchestral melody to "Closer"), wonderful lyrics and lots of passionate soul (I especially like when Lisa's voice reaches lofty heights on "Closer"). Talk about some tunes that are radio P-E-R-F-E-C-T! Besides "Diamonds", the other song that Lisa is probably most recognized for just may be better than real diamonds: "Better Than You". Wow—it would've been soooooooooooo great if I had snagged this song's single way back in 1993! I love the sunny melody and the beat—just excellent production all around! If I talk about production, I can't pass up mentioning "A Love For All Seasons", the nice r&b grooviness of "Free As You Wanna Be" and "True To You" (this one gets extra points because it's just as jazzy as "Closer"). It wouldn't be the 90's without a dance jam 90's house style, would it? You get that on "I'm In Love", and with the energy Lisa puts into it, you can tell she's excited about it, too! For as much as I adore "Better Than You" and those trio of ballads I talked about already, Lisa's best offering, at least from a singing standpoint, just may be the album's title track itself—a warming acoustic guitar piece where the voice soars and flutters so magnificently. As Lisa said with Ms. Jackson on that memorable 1988 Herb Alpert hit, diamonds are a girl's best friend. While that may be true, I would also suggest treating this rare album like your best friend, because it truly is a lost gem that you won't want to lose ever again:

1. Love Isn't Body...It's Soul
2. Better Than You
3. Love Is Alive And Well
4. I'm In Love
5. Days Like These
6. A Love For All Seasons
7. World Of Joy
8. Sunshine Daydreamin'
9. Closer
10. Love Me Like You Do
11. Free As You Wanna Be
12. True To You
13. Walkin' In The Sun
14. Adonai

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