With a 9th solo LP Rebirth (Independent – Drops Oct 30), this remarkable Canadian singer-songwriter Coco Love Alcorn explores gratification, vulnerability, forgiveness, short-term obsessions, self-doubt, spirituality, & rebirth itself in her soulful deeply expressive songs.
This woman has a pied piper voice – it attracts listeners. It caresses like Sarah Vaughn, Carmen McRae, Mary Wells, & Dusty Springfield. The power & soulfulness in Ms. Alcorn’s voice is superb. Canada already knows it — it’s time for the rest of the world, especially America to discover her.
She’s captured the Carla Thomas 60’s. The title track enriches, it’s beautiful & not soulful pop music. It’s not fast food. It has nourishment. And just when you’d believe it’s a fluke…Coco starts “Ain’t No Friend.” Remarkably perfect from a soulful perspective.
With her intonation, phrasing, warmth, power, funky tight brass punctuation, deep drums, basslines & wicked backup singers, someone understands American soul music. It’s not Motown, Stax or Philly soul. Maybe it’s Canadian soul or just Ms. Alcorn’s spirited interpretation.
Some songs are filled with sizzling spirituality & Coco reminds me of the intensity of modern-day originalists Valerie June, & Toshi Reagon (“There Are”). They possess a creative peculiarity that runs through their material & that’s good. That’s what makes it special.
“A Song To Sing,” has a spare almost ukulele type strum. No showboating. It sounds as if the workers are in the fields as Alan Lomax recorded in the ’30s. Authenticity? It’s here, it’s all here. The diversity is to be appreciated. “Beautiful Mess,” – applies another voice: mature, strong yet sensitive, childlike, but with subtlety. It’s this variety that appeals. It suggests 60s pop-folk singer Melanie Safka (“Some Say I Got Devil” & Lay Down – Candles In the Rain”).
“What I Need,” stirs the thick pudding soul of the late Amy Winehouse. “Here For the Moment” continues in that realm. Dispense with the drums & effects, leave it with just a horn & piano — this song would be exceptional. “The Reaper is always on his way, could be twenty-years — it could be today,” – excellent lyrics. Powerful song.
Up next Coco remodels for “I Forgive Myself,” a slow soulful tune Marianne Faithful should cover. With its slow-burn piano & heart wrenching backup singers – it’s a beauty.
All attractive pieces. Soul delicacies. Significant well-written authoritative songs, & with “Save Me,” & “The Keeper,” sung with conviction & chillingly good, impressive. Coco’s voice is magic. She can coax a tear from the strong, bring a smile to the sad, leave behind a tint of possibility to the hopeless. Her voice with this music transcends races, religions & cultures.
The sole cover “This Little Light of Mine,” fits. Optimism is Coco’s genre. She sings with redemptive sincerity. There are many great singers but few today…few explore the righteous soulful music of yesteryear that still beckons. It does beckon in the voice of Joss Stone; it’s embedded in Coco Love Alcorn. https://www.cocolovealcorn.com/