Record Review - 2 January 13 2005

Lizz Fields travels through familiar ground on her 2004 debut By Day By Night, but her gorgeous voice makes it an intoxicating journey. Her intimate songs feel like confessional snapshots revealing life-lessons learned from getting caught up with the wrong man (“Selfish Tendencies”) who happens to love her so right (“Silent Symphony”). It’s also about how making the wrong decisions (“All My Mistakes”) can make you wiser and set the stage for new romance (“When I See Love”).

The music helps Fields along her path. Up and coming Los Angeles producer Kayper dusts Fields’ honeyed melodies with a light orchestration. A simple drum and smoky keyboard line underscores “I Gotta Go,” framing Fields champagne kiss-offs.

The growing-pains ode “Say the Word” is built out of a textured woosh-and-purr sample punctuated by a midtempo beat that’s as nakedly blunt as Fields’ refrain, “no one ever said life would be easy.” For the standout “All My Mistakes,” Kayper uses a moody keyboard and sassy turntable cuts to spotlight Fields’ message of empowerment.

Overall, Fields is similar to other hip-hop-era female R&B vocalists such as Jill Scott or Ms. Dynamite. But she sounds so confidently in control of her talent and her life that the formula doesn’t feel formulaic.