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Dwele Subject Review

Album. Released 2003.  

BBC Review

Beautiful debut from Detroit based nu soul revelation, Dwele. R&B, spoken word, jazz...

Jack Smith 2003

Hailing from Detroit, and surrounded with constant reminders of Motown's glorious past, Dwele is determined to help put the Motor City back on the musical map. After his sultry and smooth appearance on Slum Village's breakout hit "Tainted", his debut album Subject is here to satisfy the cravings of nu-soul fans and downlow hip-hop heads alike.

The search for this season's alterna-soul equivalent to Maxwell and D'Angelo is over as the nu-soul revolution welcomes Dwele to its fold. Yes, there is a certain sense of inevitability, as his full first name, Andwele, means "God has brought me in" Swahili. While musically he takes his cue from both the masters of the past and present, quick to cite equal inspiration from legendary crooners Donny Hathaway and Stevie Wonder as well as edgy rappers like Jay Z.

Dwele's sound is one where the R&B, spoken word, jazz and hip-hop landscapes collide to create a singular genre. His soulful and mature vocal is matched by equally deft song writing and production skills, displayed for all to hear on his beautiful debut.

With the first release "Find A Way", Dwele eases you into his world of smoky café soul, before drifting from music for lounging ("A.N.G.E.L.") to smooth jazz ("Day At A Time"), Sunday afternoon jams ("Let Your Hair Down") before shifting gears with the hip-hop-charged "Money Don't Mean A Thing", then dropping the pace to the languid soul of "Kick Out Of You".

Although the tempos never rise above head-nodding, Dwele displays the versatility and scope to his voice (infusing classical jazz and love poetry in the form of an old school balladeer) that few newcomers can match, displaying a crooning style that is far more seasoned and seductive than an army of singers twice his age.

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