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Mar 15th 2005


On the rise - Juliette LeonJuliette Leon - Unconditional: LP (Die Hard Prod.)


Sexy, sultry and soulful are just a few of the accolades that has been doned on my girl Juliette Leon and her music. It's been almost a year since I reviewed Juliette's debut single 'Unconditional' and at the time she was in the studio laying down the tracks and finishing touches of her debut solo set of the same name.

The new set is an solid array of tracks that range from gospel driven in 'Unconditional' to the spell of new love in 'I Can't Deny It' (that features background vocals by her daughter Melissa Leon). Juliette you can tell writes her songs from the trials and tribulations of life and thier experiences. As with most good artists, they relate to paritculars in their day to day living and unveil the truth they see through their eyes. None much so evident that with the song 'Tell it to you str8'. Then there's the old fashion atage called love and Joolz relates to that in spades.

The duet 'Just Say' that features Virginia's own Jarrad Anthony is a soothing spectacle of a ballad that really touches your heart in it's story telling. Rich in production, Joolz and Jarrad are at home in their harmonizing together like some of the great duets of our time (Roberta Flack and Peabo Bryson's 'Tonight I Celebrate My Love' comes to mind) it really has that quality about it and is definitely radio friendly on any 'Quiet Storm' playlist or PD playlist for that matter.

Also included on the album are a couple of covers including a duet that features Myron. The song is a excellent renindition of the Teddy Pendergrass and Stephanie Mills 80's classic 'Two Hearts' and again the production really is a focal point. Myron delves into it but to me Joolz carry the heavier of the weight throughout but make no mistake this track is wicked. It's even found it's way on the Cafe De Soul - Vol.5 compilation (in stores now). Give a listen to the Michael Jackson remake of 'I Can't Help It' you WILL be presently surprised.

Other notables includes the catchy dance number 'Two of A Kind', 'Thief in The Night' and one of my personal favourites 'Falling For You'. The album set for release April 25th so be sure to go on the net and visit amazon.co.uk or her website at julietteleon.co.uk and get a copy. I do highly recommend this one for your listening ear - a TY-D Pick indeed.

Listen to Juliette Leon's - 'Unconditional'

Listen to Juliette Leon's - 'Take Me There'

Sir TY






A decent effort - Brooke ValentineBrooke Valentine - As long as you come home (Virgin)


Everywhere you look nowadays you will see them. On the pop charts, on the rap charts, the R&B/Soul charts even the country charts. I'm referring to the 'sexy chaunteuse' singer. From Britney to Christina to Beyonce to Ashanti, the new breed of young female singers to hit the charts seem to find a home for themselves and so seems to be the fate for newcomer Brooke Valentine.

The Houston native has arrived on the music scene with the bit between her teeth, almost bullish in some respect. The young lady serves as co-writer of her entire debut album - 'Chain Letter' which was completed in just four months.

Her start though not unusual was direct. She started out early at the age of 10 where she would sing with her schoolmates during recess. This would give her the belief that she can indeed sing and would take it to heart with more interest. Brooke, the eldest of 3 in her family went full throttle to make her dream a reality and her grandmother played a big part. She would put her on the spot at Sunday church where she would sing solo. 'I would sit at the vback of the church trying to hide and just when I thought I'd gotten through the service without her calling on me to sing 'His Eye is on the Sparrow' she'd always call me up' says the smiling Brooke.

At 14, she met an up and coming producer Deja who saw that she had talent and teamed her with BSK (Best Kept Secret) a duo that he was producing at the time. The trio would perform together for the next four years until graduation but then they went on seperate career paths but Brooke stuck to her guns and she and Deja would continue on. They would relocate to Los Angeles in 2002 and started shopping around her demo and got that 'lucky break' that same year when Deja gave the demo to a Virgin executive.

The track on display today is the dance floor groover 'As long as you come home'. Sampling Dynasty's 'Adventures in the Sound of Music' as it's backbone, the song sees Brooke get into the groove of things with breathy vocals and sultry undertones. Straight forward production is evident and the beat is the wheels that drive the song home as most will certainly nod their head to this. The song is not the best you've ever heard but it gets it's point across.

A good and solid effort from Ms. Valentine and as with most of the young singers out there now on their debuts, it's the strongest of a couple of song on the set that shines. Would love to see her work on better material rather than the here and now - A TY-D Pick nevertheless.

Listen to Brooke Valentine - 'As long as you come home'

Sir TY




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