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Review: Ledisi thrives with soulful "Pieces of Me"

The Associated Press, Tuesday, June 14, 2011, 4:01am (PDT)

Ledisi, "Pieces of Me" (Verve Forecast)

Ledisi's jazzy style earned her Grammy nominations for her breakthrough album "Lost & Found" and the follow-up, "Turn Me Loose." Now, the soulful singer is back with another stellar piece of work, "Pieces of Me," an album filled with engaging love songs and enjoyable high-tempo jams.

Ledisi thrives with passionate ballads that lyrically touch the soul as she sings about hope, love and self-assurance. For 12 tracks, the singer shows that she's fully content with her identity and being her own woman — no matter what critics might say. She's clearly confident in herself, and it's certainly evident on the title track and the song "Shut Up."

Her vocals are powerful on the piano-driven "Bravo," encouraging listeners to celebrate when overcoming life's trials. She also sings about self-empowerment on "Shine" and "Raise Up."

On "Stay Together," she glows alongside Jaheim. The two exchange verses on working through relationship drama, and how their love has reached its full potential after the two put in the work to understand each other.

But while Ledisi sings about love at its highest, there's also gloom on the album with the lovesick "I Miss You Now," written by John Legend. She attempts to fix a broken relationship following a heated argument, pleading for her mate to return.

In all, Ledisi wows from beginning to the end and doesn't miss a beat with "Pieces of Me." She's already carved out her niche in the world of R&B, and it should not only continue to grow, but surge.

CHECK THIS TRACK OUT: "I Gotta Get to You" is a slow-paced, soulful ballad where Ledisi yearns to reach her lover face-to-face.

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Follow Jonathan Landrum Jr. on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/MrLandrum31

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