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Daphne Willis - What to Say Album Cover
Author's Rating
Vocals 8.25
Musicianship 8
Lyrics 8.25
Production 8
Creativity 8.25
Lasting Value 8
Reviewer Tilt 8.5
Final Verdict: 82%
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Daphne Willis - What to Say

Reviewed by: Gregory Robson (02/08/10)
Daphne Willis - What to Say
Record Label: Vanguard Records
Release Date: Feb. 9, 2010

Daphne Willis has got some zest. On her full-length debut What to Say, the Chicago native delivers a magnetic collection of 12 acoustic rock offerings, dipping her hands into the collective waters of blue-eyed soul, jazz and blues. Her music is anchored by her rich, soothing vocals which vary from seductive and sultry to brazen and bubbly. The album's finest moment is the should-be single, "Bluff," which finds the 20-something taking a playful ditty and turning it into a captivating listen.

Her remarkably fresh angle on pop music can be heard on the supple "Yellow Dress," and the feisty, "Love and Hate" Considering she's not even 24, What to Say is undeniably poised, supremely self-assured and utterly expressive. The warmness of the riff-driven acoustic rock has a relativity that makes the listen more personable and engaging. Through the velvety solace of her vocals and the disarming vibe of her music she has been compared to surfer-turned-musician Jack Johnson and the perennially placid Jason Mraz,

However, pinning her down to those two influences seems a tad bit unfair. There's more at work here than just chill, acoustic rock. An assortment of horns helps kick this coffee shop pop into another dimension and proves that this singer, whose been playing open mics since the age of 19, has a captivating charisma that is far too hard to overlook. Her ruminative angles at the social consciousness of America, most notably on album closer, "Jim Thornton," and the title track, call to mind early 1980s Rickie Lee Jones. And it is that latter comparison that should propel Willis forward through 2010 and on into 2011. 

[fs=Track Listing] 1. Everybody Else
2. Bluff
3. Far Away
4. All I Know
5. What to Say
6. Love and Hate
7. Not Always Easy
8. Swirl
9. Still Tryin'
10. Yellow Dress
11. Pulled Tight
12. Jim Thornton

Recommended If You Like Alana Davis, Norah Jones, Rickie Lee Jones, Colbie Caillat

Find Her Here Myspace
Displaying posts 1 - 3 of 3
08:38 AM on 02/08/10
87 jeans & a fresh pair of Nikes on
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rhinitus's Avatar
looking forward to grabbing a copy of this...she has a really nice voice
04:20 PM on 02/08/10
Broden Terry
I'm glad I built myself an igloo
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Broden Terry's Avatar
So excited for this. Fantastic review!
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