It's been nearly four years since Atlanta based, internationally touring singer/songwriter Doria Roberts has released a CD. But, during her recording hiatus, she has seamlessly transformed her early folk leanings into an infectious blend of acoustic based 'afro-hippie' pop/rock on her latest project "Woman Dangerous".
She says, "I'm a writer first so my lyrical choices haven't changed much, but I really wanted to expand my sound then somehow distill it. The process started at my live shows two years ago. I was taking some time off, doing fewer gigs but experimenting more. For my solo shows, I incorporated a loop station, drum machine and other f/x pedals so I could explore different rhythms and textures on my guitar and create live four part vocal harmonies. Lots of fun. So, I came into the studio last summer with a real taste for fleshing out my songs. Nothing crazy. Just needed to find that balance. I feel like I've offered up something honest, a real effort and reflection of who I am and where I am musically. And, even though it's my sixth album, it feels like a debut or a bigger "back to basics". It's exciting for me to be able to start over."
The "basics" include fluid bottom end provided by Khari Simmons (india.arie), solid, pocket drumming by Tom Knight (TLC, Joi) and Melvin Baldwin (Dionne Farris), sweeping string arrangements and driving, afro-cuban percussion. All parts provided the perfect backdrop for Roberts' often syncopated, percussive acoustic guitar style, counterpoint melodies and spoken word/singsong vocal delivery. Lyrically, it can simply be described as a series of poetic musings on life, love and what sometimes happens in between. She is at times lighthearted, irreverent, and sexy; but, then manages to artfully re-route herself into a stark, deeply mournful, yet, dignified melancholy on quieter, solo tracks.