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The Floacist: Floetic Soul

Shanachie

Natalie "the Floacist" Stewart's spoken word is not for those seeking the ingenuity of HBO's "Brave New Voices." It isn't for the poetry snob who considers Gil Scott-Heron a god and Meshell Ndegeocello his secret love child. But its simple intimacy, repetitive themes and breathy womanist verbiage may be the perfect proletariat poetry for those who miss the easy neo-soul grooves of the Jazzyfatnastees. Musiq, MC Lyte, Raheem DeVaughn and Lalah Hathaway certainly seemed to think enough about Stewart's candlelit mood to light up with the former half of Floetry. There are obvious smiles, like the lead single "Forever," and groans, like the lackluster lyricism of "Overtime," "What Are You Looking For," or the cheese-grating hook of "What You Gonna Do." The largely self-produced jazzy soul tracks feature a fair share of well-placed swings ("Let Me") and misses ("You"), ending too often in strikes. (2 out of 5 stars)