13 Songs, 49 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Belgian chanteuse Selah Sue is one of a few musicians blending genres to create her own. Though she’s been playing guitar and writing songs since age 15, it took a cameo on Cee Lo Green's The Lady Killer and a support slot on Prince’s European tour to give Sue deserved momentum. Her eponymous 2012 debut album opens with a slow-burning jam punctuated by an old-school dub-style bass line playing over imported analog pops, crackles, and hiss (sampled and looped from an old vinyl record). Over this, Sue sings powerful R&B as a Memphis-flavored horn section blasts through the chorus. There are times when Sue’s slightly raspy voice recalls a young Macy Gray, but Sue can drive her voice into much wider ranges. “Raggamuffin” starts off with folkie acoustic guitars before blending reggae and rock with jazzy Rhodes piano. When Sue fuses her soulful inflections with rhythmic toasting, the song comes to life. Green appears on “Please,” a simmering slice of classic soul that Amy Winehouse fans will dig. The semi-autobiographical “Crazy Vibes” is another standout.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Belgian chanteuse Selah Sue is one of a few musicians blending genres to create her own. Though she’s been playing guitar and writing songs since age 15, it took a cameo on Cee Lo Green's The Lady Killer and a support slot on Prince’s European tour to give Sue deserved momentum. Her eponymous 2012 debut album opens with a slow-burning jam punctuated by an old-school dub-style bass line playing over imported analog pops, crackles, and hiss (sampled and looped from an old vinyl record). Over this, Sue sings powerful R&B as a Memphis-flavored horn section blasts through the chorus. There are times when Sue’s slightly raspy voice recalls a young Macy Gray, but Sue can drive her voice into much wider ranges. “Raggamuffin” starts off with folkie acoustic guitars before blending reggae and rock with jazzy Rhodes piano. When Sue fuses her soulful inflections with rhythmic toasting, the song comes to life. Green appears on “Please,” a simmering slice of classic soul that Amy Winehouse fans will dig. The semi-autobiographical “Crazy Vibes” is another standout.

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