Record Review - Yahzarah: The Ballad of Purple St. James

Foreign Exchange Music

Easily the pint-sized powerhouse's most polished set, Yahzarah's fourth release arrives with much-deserved fanfare. Among the 13 tracks, there's a feast of creative live and electronic instrumentation that, like the roomy blues ballad "Last to Leave" and the tribal epic "The Lie," leans toward spectral grooves and evening songs. Still, in electro-soul producers Zo! and Nicolay's über-hipster hands, the DC songstress sometimes has to fight for her identity, competing against kaleidoscopic productions that almost swallow the mezzo-soprano whole. With the producers' penchant for '80s upgrades, Yahzarah's agile instrument serves as star to their refurbished Tron productions. Only when the two meet as equals – which thankfully happens often enough on such jams as "Starship" and "Love, Come Save the Day" – is Yahzarah granted the shimmering moments she deserves. 3 out of 5 stars.