Breezy Malone • Starts With Love EP • Soulful Child Records • US Release Date: February 5, 2014
One of the saddest days within the face of R&B music was the day that neo-soul music seemed to fade away like “It’s Nothin’”, to quote Wiz Khalifa. Neo-soul, once the preeminent movement of the genre died just like that, with many of the proponents of the movement abandoning it like it was a hot potato. Sure, every now and again, there is an Alicia Keys joint like “Fire We Make” with Maxwell that hints back to the golden days, but let’s face it, the genre as a whole has changed… for some that is. In newbie Breezy Malone’s eyes, neo-soul still remains the world-class of R&B music, and she’s unafraid to embrace it. Going against the grain of the trends and the hype can sometimes doom one’s career, but for such a soulful, chill vocalist like Breezy, well, she’s found her ideal niche. On February 5, 2014, the ‘soul’ returns to music, as Breezy releases her Starts With Love EP via Soulful Child.
Breezy first had my attention with “Love Face”, the current single that precedes the Starts With Love EP. The sound and vibe of the cut uses a classy mix of adult contemporary R&B and of neo-soul cues. From its lush intro, sporting acoustic and electric piano against a soulful groove, “Love Face” has ‘classic’ written all over it. It is hip by 2014 standards, but its easily perceptible that Malone’s soul is truly an old one. Malone doesn’t disappoint once she begins to sing, sophisticatedly delivering a relaxed, moving performance. What’s amazing is that Breezy truly is incredibly ‘breezy’ because she does not have to over sing or break a sweat to truly deliver the knockout punch. She’s invested, but she never loses her cool, particular as she sings the memorable refrain: “Cause you know I see love in your face / we got that thing, can’t be erased.” I’m in love Breezy – I’m in love!
“Love Face” is just one slice of the pie in regards to Starts With Love. “Feelin’ Some Type of Way” truly reminds me of Angie Stone, as Breezy’s voice possesses a similar richness and huskiness. The uniqueness of the musician’s pipes truly helps to give her an edge compared to many of her contemporaries; her instrument is truly a remarkable gift. This dude has got Malone bothered, that’s for sure: “Some days I love you, but I don’t want to / (you’ve got me feelin’ some type of way / You say you love me, but I don’t believe you / (you’ve got me feelin’ some type of way)”. Malone and I both share infatuation; I’m “feelin’ some type of way” about the artistry and musicianship I hear here.
The remainder of the EP continues to find Malone flexing – in the most refined and soulful regards that is! “Love To You” has a haunting, laziness about it, certainly musically representing the “love” of which it contains. On “Who Do You Love”, Malone is deeply focused on getting this boy’s attention (“Who do you love boy? Who do you love boy?”). For whatever reason though, she’s unsure if the object of her infatuation is on the same page, as she informs him “I feel like you need to get it together.” Tell him Breezy! Girl, if he don’t know what he got in front of him, I’ll pick up the slack! I’m onboard – LOL! Like everything else, the soul oozes, but “Who Do You Love” also manages to throw in some thoughtful synths within the production. Keeping in step with love, “You Got Me Goin’” offers yet another compelling tune of the upmost infatuation. Hey, is there anything wrong with being hopelessly romantic? R&B as a whole could use that sort of thing, as opposed to drifting too shallowly in the ‘physical’ direction.
What’s the best way to describe Breezy Malone and her Starts With Love EP? How about calling it simply on point. Malone has a sensational voice and seems to ‘get it’ in regards to truly preserving R&B in its truest form. Starts With Love is a brilliant start for this multifaceted, multitalented artist. Hopefully, things are only beginning for Breezy; she’s a star who truly needs to shine.
Favorites: “Feelin’ Some Type of Way”; “Love Face”; “Who Do You Love”