Get this crazy baby off my head!



India.Arie - Acoustic Soul [UK Bonus Tracks] - 2001 - Motown

As one of the most promising neo-soul artists yet to emerge in the past few years, India.Arie casts her lot with the best artists of her label's storied history, playing deeply introspective songs laced with glistening acoustic guitar, churchy organ, and smooth, supple beats. When she name-checks those artists no longer with us that she claims as influences (Ma Rainey, Miles Davis, Karen Carpenter, Charley Patton, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Donny Hathaway, etc.) in three separate interludes, you have no doubt she is looking back as well as forward, even going so far as to invoke Sam Cooke's "A Change Is Gonna Come." But Acoustic Soul is at its best when the arrangements are deliberately modern. And despite the uniqueness of being a guitar-based R&B album, it is Arie's thick, sandy voice that shares star billing with her exceptional lyrics. Betraying youthful vulnerability while at the same time projecting strength, confidence, and uncanny insight for a 25-year-old singer/songwriter, Arie wraps herself effortlessly around the deep, funky sensuality of "Brown Skin," and stands tall in defiance of pop-fashion expectations on the irresistibly catchy "Video." The uplifting "Faith, Courage, Wisdom" rides along on a euphoric chorus, and the plainly autobiographical "Back to the Middle" recounts an emotional and spiritual coming of age. Without the many concrete references to the great R&B music of the past, Acoustic Soul would be a purely modern gem, but as Arie is determined to pay her debts up front, it's much more, and that is admirable. © John Duffy © 2011 Rovi Corporation. All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/album/acoustic-soul-r525268/review

On the surface, one could easiy assume that this album was just another slick, overly commercial "hyped up" X-Factor style recording. However, the album is an exception to the rule. India.Arie wrote or co-wrote 17 of the albums 18 tracks. She is a talented vocalist and songwriter, and although the album has been classifed as "neo-soul", it also leans heavily towards guitar orientated R&B with strong, intelligent lyrics and great melodies. The album debuted @ No.10 on the U.S. Billboard 200 and @ No. 3 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums. Within months, without the incessant radio airplay that normally drives pop and rap albums, the album was certified double platinum, selling over two million units in the U.S. and three million copies worldwide. Arie and the album were nominated for seven Grammy awards in 2002, but won none, losing in five of seven categories to Alicia Keys. There are several versions of this album which include bonus remixed tracks. The version here is the 18 track UK Motown Bonus Tracks issue, and is HR by A.O.O.F.C. Listen to India.Arie's wonderful "Voyage to India" album


1 Intro - India.Arie 0:50
2 Video - India.Arie, C. Broady, S. Sanders 4:09
3 Promises - India.Arie, P. Lackee 4:37
4 Brown Skin - India.Arie, Mark Batson, S. Sanders 4:56
5 Strength, Courage, & Wisdom - India.Arie 4:57
6 Nature - India.Arie, Mark Batson 4:24
7 Back to the Middle - India.Arie, Blue Miller 5:11
8 Ready for Love - India.Arie, Blue Miller 4:28
9 Interlude - India.Arie 1:24
10 Always in My Head - India.Arie, Blue Miller 4:40
11 I See God in You - India.Arie 3:17
12 Simple - India.Arie, Mark Batson, Unit 3:26
13 Part of My Life - T. Harrington 4:03
14 Beautiful - India.Arie, K. Hicks, Blue Miller 4:05
15 Outro - India.Arie 1:20
16 Wonderful (Stevie Wonder Dedication) - India.Arie, C. Barnes, Mark Batson 5:31 [Bonus]
17 Strength, Courage & Wisdom recorded live at Paradiso, Amsterdam, on May 7, 2001. Recorded by Radio 3FM, NPS) - India.Arie 5:56 [Bonus]
18 Brown Skin (Bedroom Rockers Remix) - India.Arie, Mark Batson, S. Sanders 3:35 [Bonus]


India.Arie - Acoustic Guitar, Vocals
Blue Miller - Electric Guitar, Acoustic Guitar, Vocals, Background Vocals
Bob Power - Guitar, Bass
Mark Batson - Bass, Drums, Fender Rhodes, Keyboards, Mellotron, Organ, Percussion, Synthesizer
Doug Kahan, Avery Johnson - Bass
Larry Goldings - Organ, String Contractor, Wurlitzer
Tony Harrell - Keyboards
Steve Grossman - Drums, Percussion
Ralph Rolle - Drums
Terry MacMillan, David Spak, Bashiri Johnson - Percussion
Nioka Workman, John Catchings - Cello
Judeth Insel - Viola
Marlene Rice - Violin
Duane Covert, Kerisha Hicks, Laurnea Wilkerson, Joyce Simpson - Background Vocals


One of a handful of neo-classic soul artists to emerge following the late-'90s success of artists like D'Angelo and Lauryn Hill, Atlanta's India.Arie stood poised at the beginning of 2001 to make a major impact. A studied songwriter and guitar player rooted in the R&B, soul, Motown, and blues of the past, but grounded in the post-hip-hop urban world of today, Arie's debut, Acoustic Soul, was rich with textured songs, hooks, and impressively mature lyrics, considering the artist had only been writing songs for five years. Born in Denver, CO, to parents from Memphis and Detroit, music was always in Arie's life. The family moved to Atlanta when India was 13 and after high school she began playing guitar at the encouragement of her mother. Involvement in the fertile Atlanta urban music scene led to the formation of an artist's collective called Groovement and an independent label, EarthShare, which released a compilation CD featuring Arie's first songs. A second-stage slot on the 1998 Lilith Fair tour garnered major-label interest, but Arie eventually signed with Motown after being assured of having full artistic control. Work on Acoustic Soul dragged out over nearly two years, but Arie's relentless pursuit of perfection and musical integrity yielded very pleasing results: as successful a graft of classic soul and modern hip-hop-style productions yet attempted. The album's first single, "Video," received strong radio and club play early in the year, and the full-length followed in March. Just over a year later, Arie had completed her second record, Voyage to India, and it appeared in September 2002. Four years later the singer hit number one on the Billboard charts for the first time with Testimony: Vol. 1, Life & Relationship, which also netted her three Grammy nominations. Testimony: Vol. 2, Love & Politics was released in February 2009. © John Duffy © 2011 Rovi Corporation. All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/artist/indiaarie-p475170/biography