Vanessa Fernandez – Use Me (2014)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/176,4 kHz | Time – 57:23 minutes | 2,93 GB | Genre: R&B/Soul
Studio Master, Official Digital Download – Source: AcousticSounds | Artwork: Front cover | © Groove Note
“Tasty as is the back-up band and are the outstanding acoustic arrangements, Ms. Fernandez steals the show with a voice that is as unlikely as her cover photo would have you thinking “funky black chick”. She’s no poseur though. If you have any such notions start with side 3’s opener, a cover of Bill Withers’ ‘Use Me,’ which is from where the album gets it title.” — Music = 10/11; Sound = 11/11 — Michael Fremer, AnalogPlanet.com.
Singapore-based vocalist Vanessa Fernandez, 31, has performed hip-hop (Urban Xchange/Parking Lot Pimp) and been a DJ “Vandetta,” or “Miss Vandetta” on Mediacorp Radio’s 987FM. Groove Note and ORG reissue producer Ying Tan decided that Fernandez deserved the audiophile recording treatment and so brought her to Ocean Way Recording in Los Angeles in mid-January 2014 to record this album to analog tape in five sessions.
Fernandez covers Marvin Gaye, Bill Withers, Al Green, Curtis Mayfield, Isaac Hayes and others in an album filled with funky grooves provided by a stellar back-up band anchored by bassist Leland Sklar, with session guitarist Tim Pierce (Bruce Springsteen, Bon Jovi, Patti Smith, Joe Cocker, Michael Jackson) drummer Victor Indrizzo (Scott Weiland, Chris Cornell) keyboardist Jim Cox (Lyle Lovett, Mark Knopfler, B.B. King) and others.
The album of audiophile-quality covers of soul and R&B classics from the ’70s and ’80s was done in an “unplugged” style with acoustic instruments and arrangements used on all of the tracks. Vocals are tremendously dynamic (no compression or limiting used), with superb presence and detail for all other instruments including the drum set.
The album introduces and throws the spotlight on the fantastic voice of the Singaporean vocalist Fernandez. The song selection includes tunes by Marvin Gaye, Curtis Mayfield, Isaac Hayes, Earth Wind & Fire, Bill Withers, Al Green and others. Now available for Digital Download!
This is a great group of top LA musicians backing superlative performances by a great new singer!!!
01 – Just Wanna Be With You
02 – Be Thankful For What You Got aka Diamond In The Back
03 – Distant Lover
04 – Hard Times
05 – That Loving Feeling
06 – Simply Beautiful
07 – Use Me
08 – I Love You More Than You’ll Ever Know
09 – Cool Cat
10 – Here But I’m Gone
11 – Be Thankful For What You Got aka Diamond In The Back (alt. take)