Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Trizonna McClendon-NEWFAMILIAR (Review)

Trizonna McClendon-NEWFAMILIAR
(4 the Soul-Reciprocity, Inc.)

Reviewed by Sandria M. Washington

“The past repeats itself, but wears a brand new face…” - Trizonna McClendon

As much as this quote pretty much sums up my romantic relationships as of late (*sigh, followed by a Moscato-induced giggle*), it’s actually a line from the title track and perfect description of NEWFAMILIAR (4 the Soul-Reciprocity Inc., 2009), the sophomore release from Chicago’s sweetheart of soul, Trizonna McClendon. Ms. McClendon, aka Triz, aka Trizzie Mac, follows up her 2006 debut CD, Overtones & Innuendos, with more of the familiar blend of angelic harmonies and heartfelt lyricism her fans have come to expect, mixed with a new, refreshed perspective and sound.

Trizonna McClendon is often compared to the great Minnie Ripperton and on “This Is My Range”-the CD’s closing interlude-she confesses that, “The press has compared me to Minnie/Her high notes I do not hit any/This is my range.” The simplistic piano with vocals song, reminiscent of the 1940s, exposes Trizonna’s not so dirty secret that she is a “tame singer,” whose voice doesn’t stray too far from its comfort zone…and she’s perfectly okay with this. Within this range she’s living in her own lane and proudly owns it. Songs like “Love Divine” and “Find My Way” are right in the pocket of Trizonna’s range-mellow, rock-with-you lullaby-esque, soul ballads that put you in the mood of an intimate lounge or smoky café. These songs give NEWFAMILIAR a signature Trizonna McClendon feel.

When I was first introduced to Trizonna on Overtones & Innuendos I appreciated that her songwriting portrayed a deep connection to the joys and trials of love and life, especially for young women. She displayed a kindred, almost psychic ability to tell OUR stories, like a soulful soundtrack to my 20s. But going into my 30s, I’m feeling more empowered and Trizonna’s music has grown right along with me. On this CD, Trizonna is talking a little more slick-dare I say “greasy”-and I love it! In several songs she is the aggressor; the predator and not the helpless prey. “Shatterproof” is a sexy song of romantic cat and mouse, set over an 80s style synth beat, where Trizonna takes a “game recognize game” approach when her love interest hasn’t yet realized the tables have turned and he’s the one unexpectedly caught up in love. In similar fashion, the throwback hip-hop feel “Love Electric” portrays a brazen Trizonna singing (and for a brief moment, rapping) to her “one night man” that “You can wine, you can dine, but I’m gettin’ mine/What I want is what’cha givin’/I’m not talkin’ cash…” Flirty and fun music works well for Trizonna. I think everyone likes to see the “good girl” go there sometimes.

Standout tracks that highlight Trizonna’s skills as a songwriter and messenger are the get up, get out and get somethin’ anthem, “Excuses” (which I envision on a movie soundtrack) and “A Song for Teena (What About You?),” an introspective song that holds a mirror up for the listener to examine her level of self love and self worth.


Trizonna said...

What an awesome review! Thanks for the love Scrap and Sandria :)

Scrap Dirty said...

No Problem Triz hhahah

Renae said...

I'm LOVING NewFamiliar and am glad to see it embraced by so many. I see big things in 2010 for this young lady & can't wait to see what the future holds for this project!

Much Respect,