Nikka & Strings: Underneath and in Between

Nikka & Strings: Underneath and in Between

This powerhouse singer opens her 2017 record with an R&B-influenced statement of purpose—a head-nodding version of Prince’s “Nothing Compares 2 U” that revels in the Purple One’s NPG-era style. The organic, acoustic-led arrangement brings the funk, while Costa displays the signature bluesy vocal grain that made Prince want to collaborate with her in the ’00s. Smooth strings bring a touch of refinement to the album, a model that serves her particularly well on takes of other soul classics, like Marvin Gaye’s “Ain’t That Peculiar.”

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