Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Victoria Wilson-James - Perseverance (1991)


Here's another way I like to jam! Acid jazz and house music from the early 90's gets just as much of my attention as my beloved boybands and guilty pop pleasures from the 80's. That's part of the reason I initially got turned on to the lovely 50+ minutes of smooth grooves on the debut solo album of the British SOUL II SOUL vocalist Victoria Wilson-James. That other part comes from the suggestion of a fellow SOUL II SOUL fan who hoped a particular song would inspire an aspiring entrepreneur. Eager to satisfy my curiosity while taking measures to help out a friend at the same time, "Perseverance Works" became the very first song I listened. 'The greater the problem, the steeper the hill'—those were the first words coming out of Victoria's silky smooth vocals that grabbed my attention while the lovely melody of the fluttery flute was the first production piece to grab my attention. Very inspirational indeed is this song that serves as a blueprint instructing the listener how to deal with life's many adversities, a blueprint to be read by entrepreneurs and anyone else who is striving to attain a personal goal. After that fulfilling five-minute lesson, I went back to the album's proper beginning with "Through", where Victoria's attitude is drastically different. I was like 'uh-oh' the very moment I took in the words of negativity in the first; I already knew the theme to this one would be about a break up from the mess up. ' Don't let the doorknob hit ya where the dog shoulda bit ya '—one of my favorite lines on this album! Love the sweet backup vocals chiming in with 'through' and the 'blue' all throughout. Of course, I had to skip down to the club mix right afterwards, which picks up the tempo and gives you more beat and bounce to groove to. A couple of songs sure would've been cool to jam to in a reinvented full-out club remix, but something about them—the easy-listening flow, I imagine—just made me appreciate them for what they were: "One World" and "Future World". Then there's the pair that I adored a lot because they are the type of old-school grooves that fill me up: "2nd Nature" (this one has such a sensual, sexy feel to it, Victoria singing about how loving her man is easy to do and knowing how to it just right) and "Rest of Your Life" (I find the the dreamy air about this one so alluring, with the inspiring words of starting over afresh and achieving happiness making it a perfect companion song to "Perseverance Works"). Fitting I concluded my listening time with the instrumental version of the album's title track; perhaps it served as a metaphoric reminder that there are some adversities in my own life that I need to master the art of perseverance for:

1. Through
2. Bright Lights
3. One World
4. 2nd Nature
5. Angel Calling
6. Woman Of Colours
7. Perseverance Works
8. Rest of Your Life
9. Future World
10. Works (Instrumental)
11. Through (Classic Club Mix)

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