If Terri Walker has her smarts about her, she'll hitch a ride in Corrine Bailey Rae's slipstream and glide smoothly through the sliding-doors of your local Tesco megahouse. It's impeccable timing for Walker, to drop the follow-up to her 2003 MOBO-nominated debut 'Untitled' just as so-called neo-soul becomes a Radio 1 hot-ticket. Unfortunately, there's not much to recommend this album to anyone not enamoured with modern radio-targetted soul. After beginning with fairly unobjectionable mainstream R&B grooves, the hip-hop glitches of Addicted seem somewhat out-of-place. Alright With Me is the album highlight: Walker's most committed vocal performance, gentle piano juxtaposed with forceful bass, and terrific gospel backing vocals. Shame that the rest of the album doesn't keep up; the following track is unashamedly soppy, taking anguished woo-ooing to new heights, and the general inclination towards sheen, schmaltz and uh-huh-huhs prevents 'I Am' from becoming anything to get enthusiastic about. [Ally Brown]
Dekkor Records, Album released May 15 on Dekkor Records. Terri Walker will be playing The Arches, Glasgow on May 10, and Cabaret Voltaire, Edinburgh, on the 11th.