Aaradhna's always had a truly impressive and soulful set of pipes and made a name for herself locally, featuring on songs by the likes of Adeaze, Savage, David Dallas, and P-Money, plus a couple of solid solo albums. But here on her third album, after a four-year break, she finds a sound and confidence that truly announces her as an artist in her own right. Sure, you could make some comparisons to Amy Winehouse and Adele, but Aaradhna somehow manages to take the inspirations of Motown and doo-wop and give them a fresh, local sound.
There's something over-archingly sunny about this 17-track collection, whether she's singing about heartbreak (Back Of My Mind), being a misfit (Cool Shoes), cheating men (or women), or musing on tricky friendships, shaking herself out of a rut (Wake Up), or the great man she wants to hang on to. It could be the lovely, melting, multi-tracked harmonies she's put together, the airy lightness to the arrangements (she mostly keeps things deceptively simple, with a hint of the Pacific in the guitars and percussion), or the youthful language and modern inflections, but she manages to sound genuine, rather than coming off as an homage to the past, and there's a warm sense of humour mixed through.
It's a bit too long, occasionally becomes overly sentimental, and musically a touch repetitive, but experienced co-writers and producers Evan Short and Pete Wadams (P-Money) have helped to keep the overall effect focused and accomplished, giving Aaradhna's voice the treatment it deserves.
- TimeOutBy Lydia Jenkin Email Lydia