Przemek Draheim, Polish Blues Radio Host, www.blues.pl/draheim
Sexy, intimate, beautiful!
Did you ever wonder how brilliant it would be to have all your favorite shades of music on one disc? The smoothness of classic, Motown-era pop; the grit and sex of Southern-soul; the sunshine and swaying feel of reggae; the romantic mood of Eva Cassidy-like sensual ballads – all one a single CD? Add a super-tight band backing up one of the most interesting and versatile singers on the circuit today, both technically fantastic and true to herself, and what you get is a debut album by Ingrid Gerdes, “The Eclectic Collection”.
With so many female singers out there exploring nu-soul territory made famous by Joss Stone Ingrid decided to go deeper and recorded a beautiful set of original material, plus two well chosen covers, covering music styles she loves the most. The idea, as risky as it was, gave some great results.
The very first notes of the album-opener, “Little Bit Of Sun”, reveal the secret – we’re here for a real treat. Passionate, strong but never over the top lead vocals and heavenly backing voices laid upon a steady groove produced by well-rehearsed combo. With “Should’ve Known” the groove gets deeper as the band takes us on a reggae side of town - if there ever was something like reggae-soul this is it. It’s fresh and very sexy. Every song in this collection sounds a little bit different, but what makes them an album, instead of just a bunch of songs is Ingrid’s sensitivity and the chemistry between her and talented musicians backing her up. Just listen to “It’s Too Late” as well-oiled soul machinery takes us on a journey south, juke joint bound. If this in not the perfect radio single, then I’m not a radio DJ! Being a self-confident Femme Fatale in one moment, Ingrid becomes a defenceless girl in the other – her singing on “Happy” is one of the most fragile I’ve ever heard on record, so pure.
With different styles, grooves and moods Ingrid Gerdes gives a powerful statement - the Berklee School of Music she has graduated can be proud of her. If you love intimacy in your music, get “The Eclectic Collection” and enjoy. But remember to keep it close to your player – when love-making time comes, you won’t find any better disc than this one! A five star CD.
Przemek Draheim, Polish Blues & Gospel Radio Host, www.blues.pl/draheim