Friday, 12 October 2018

Fatima ‎– And Yet It's All Love (2018)

Style: Hip Hop, Funk / Soul
Format: CD, Vinyl
Label: Eglo Records, P-Vine Records

01.   Dang
02.   Westside
03.   Attention Span Of A Cookie
04.   I See Faces
05.   Take It All (feat. Roc Marciano)
06.   Somebody Else
07.   Caught In A Lie
08.   Waltz
09.   So Rite
10.   Movie
11.   Note To Self
12.   And Yet It's All Love

It only takes a couple of listens to start singing along with And Yet It's All Love, the second album from the Eglo artist Fatima. Where her breakthrough LP, Yellow Memories, impressed with its unorthodox approach to modern soul, the follow-up lands on a more modest, immediate sound that still oozes personality. She's assembled a mostly fresh production team for her latest LP, though she's retained the hip-hop beatmaker Flako. Having contributed two tracks to Yellow Memories, his increased prominence on And Yet It's All Love helps give the LP a more modern-sounding palette. There aren't flashy maneuvers like there were on "La Neta," which switched tempos and time signatures, stuffing 20-minutes' worth of ideas into six. The level of musicianship here is still high, but the focus is on making moving, memorable songs.  
All great singers, or rather, the ones who write their own music, have musical trademarks. There are motifs that crop up in many of Fatima's vocal melodies. What makes them uniquely hers is their jazzy ambiguity—instead of simple minor or major keys that might reference single-note emotions, her weird harmonies often suggest a tense counterbalance of conflicting feelings. "Attention Span Of A Cookie" is sexy, sassy and even a little sad, with strange minor intervals offset by a fun bassline. When a songwriter gives voice to that tension—not just multiple emotional notes but the semitones between them—that's when you start to hear the messy magic of real life.  
The LP has a wide range of moods, painting a lively and dynamic portrait of Fatima as a person. There are the hooky singalongs that DJs will love, like "Westside," "Caught In A Lie" and "Attention Span Of A Cookie," which benefit from the album's bass-boosted production. There are moments of audacious self-empowerment ("So Rite"), slow-burning sensuality ("Dang"), manic energy ("I See Faces") and clear-headed confidence ("May I"). There are curveballs where the album gently swerves off-piste, such as "Waltz," which is indeed a waltz, with its pum-pum bassline and sparkly fairytale synths. She closes out the album with the title track, and it's Fatima at her most virtuosic—not only does she have style and grace, but the vocal chops to bring all of her notes to life.
Max Pearl / Resident Advisor