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Tarsha McMillian Hamilton Gives Her Hubby A Run For His Money

09/03/2010

Anthony Hamiltion is undoubtedly one of my favourite contemporary soul singers. His gravelly, yet soothing voice strikes the perfect balance between old-school soul singers of the 60/70s and the more modern sounds of ‘neo-soul’ … in a word his music has that ‘timeless’ quality about it.

I remember hearing, a few years back, that his wife, Tarsha McMillian Hamilton, was getting ready to release an album. The album was added to my mental list of things to check out, but somehow, along the way it dropped off that list and would have been all but forgotten had it not been for a timely reminder by fellow blogger Eric at Soulified.

Before pressing play I did a little homework on the album (basically I googled it) and found that Tarsha’s style of music was similar to that of her husband but had a strong faith/religious base. Now being the relative atheist that I am, I was unsure whether I would ‘get’ this album. Don’t get me wrong I enjoy music by many artists who sing about their faith in God (Mary Mary, Kirk Franklin, Green Tea) and I’m not saying that artists shouldn’t express their religious beliefs, however i’m not a fan of being preached to, or coerced. Thankfully, this album could not be further from that.

Second To Nothing

As expected, the main topic of the album is Tarsha’s belief in God, her struggle to maintain her faith at times, and the difficulties one can face when they stray too far from ‘the path’, however her obvious passion for the subject matter, and the ability to relate these tracks to everyday, real-life situations (whether you are religious or not) really struck a chord with me. The beautiful duet with husband Anthony (‘Silence Kills’) is one of the best arguements I’ve heard for not brushing things under the carpet, and proclaims the importance of being open and honest. ‘Reaching Out’, with it’s mix of rock and soul, sees Tarsha asking her God for help in times of trouble, however this could just as easily be an anthem for the not-so-religious who need help when the going gets tough. One of my favourite tracks on the album is the opener ‘Second To Nothing’ which seems to be a dual purpose track aimed at both God and her husband, in it she thanks them for being there for her, even when things go wrong and she dosn’t neccessarily show her appreciation. Also ‘From Me To You’, a self described ‘simple love song’ is indeed beautiful in it’s simplicity, both musically and vocally.

Silence Kills ft Anthony Hamilton

Reaching Out

Throughout it is Tarsha’s vocals that take centre stage, with each track perfectly crafted to enhance rather than overpower. In places I had a strong feeling of dejá vu regarding her voice, and I’ve come to the conclusion that, in places at least, she sounds a lot like Syleena Johnson (who has duetted previously with her husband). This is not to say that Tarsha dosn’t have her own sound, in fact I would go as far to say that The McMillian Story is a true original, at least within my limited collection. She combines love, hardship, faith and God into a single, cohesive package that will appeal anyone who appreciates great soul music, regardless of their personal beliefs.

It’s a shame that it has taken me 2 years to ‘discover’ this album, and i’m sure there will be many out there who, like me, have overlooked it. Hopefully, if your reading, this will convince you to check it out a support a truly gifted artist. I know that for me at least this album will be in rotation for a very, very long time!

www.tarshamhamilton.com

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. 09/03/2010 3:18 pm

    Soul UK: another excellent “find” from you. I just gotta let you know how much I’ve been enjoying your writing and the musical gems that you feature here. In the time that I’ve been popping in here I must say that you have opened my eyes (ears actually {smile}) to folks and music that it would have taken me a long time to discover, AAMOF I might not have become aware of them at all. Keep up the good work!

  2. 09/03/2010 4:25 pm

    @TGrundy thanks! Always appreciate it when folks take the time to leave a comment.

    It’s amazing really how well the blogosphere works, I write here about artists that, for the most part, i’ve heard about via another blog/blogger, it’s almost like a relay of sorts … passing the baton lol.

    Everyday I have a little laugh to myself at the folks who say that ‘music aint what it used to be’ or ‘there are no artists making real soul music anymore’ … it’s out there, for all to hear, we just need to know where to look 😉

  3. 26/09/2010 9:24 pm

    All greetings! I the first day at a forum. How are you?

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