Picks and Pans Review: Surrender to Love

updated 05/05/2003 at 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 05/05/2003 01:00AM

Kindred the Family Soul (Hidden Beach/Epic)
Critic's Choice

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Following in the footsteps of Ashford & Simpson and Womack & Womack, Kindred the Family Soul is the latest husband-and-wife act to take the plunge into R&B. With their rich, '70s-soaked soul Fatin Dantzler and his wife of five years, Aja Graydon, make a perfect musical marriage on this excellent debut disc. Seamless interplay between Graydon's full-bodied alto (which at times brings to mind labelmate Jill Scott) and Dantzler's tough-and-tender tenor gives a warm intimacy to personal lyrics based on their relationship. "I don't wanna forget all the love we captured the day we met," sings Graydon on the sumptuous first single, "Far Away," one of the album's many highlights. Throughout the CD Kindred boasts a robust, live sound, thanks to a 10-piece backup band (including an old-school horn section) that shifts effortlessly from the jazzy syncopation of "Rhythm of Life" to the War-like Latin funk of "Spread the Word."

BOTTOM LINE: Surrender to Kindred

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