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  • Muzik First


Singer-songwriter Joy Crookes from South London, born to Bangladeshi, has released her debut album entitled "Skin." Her songs have been likened to Amy Winehouse, and, for once, neither artist suffers from the comparison. These are deep; soulful vocals shot through with hard-earned wisdom and curiosity about her surroundings. Joy Crookes has been riding high for a while now. Crookes emerged from the past 18 months with the wide-ranging "Skin," on which she sews together effortless progressions of R&B, modern soul, and pop styles into a masterful study of a young woman reckoning with her transition to adulthood. The most striking moments on the album come when Crookes allows her songs to go off in unexpected directions. On the bubbly "Trouble," she fuses a reggae-lite delivery with steel drums and witty production touches: “Cut deep when we play,” she sings, and on cue, two knives scratch together. ‘Wild Jasmine,’ an oblique story of a romance in trouble, contains smoky echoes of ‘60s-style soul. And on ‘Unlearn You,’ her vulnerabilities become more daring, too; in a single word, a barely-there whisper can soar to a deep, husky vocal. ‘Skin’ rises from the most intimate pockets of Crookes’s life: the emotional turmoil around growing up, heartbreak, forgiveness, and relationships that don’t offer the sanctuary they promise.

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