Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 27th 2013 Contents A43
Saturday, July 27, 2013 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
Ruth Osman launched her debut CD,
Letting Go on the first weekend in July
in a pair of spectacularly produced con-
certs at the Little Carib Theatre.
Those concerts set a new benchmark
for these kinds of events here, and one
wishes that all CD launches operate at
this level, where production values are
honoured and audience expectations not
The production team of Jason Dasent
and his team at Studio Jay Recording
Ltd created a new milieu for Osman in
the concert and on the record.
On this ten-track CD, this Guyanese
song bird has evolved from the easy ele-
gance of her tropical neo-folk acoustic
trio, Jacoustik---featuring Marva Newton
and James Fenton on guitar and congas
respectively---to the lush layering of syn-
thesizers and background vocal har-
monies of this recording.
In an instant, the listener realises that
this record is making a commercial state-
ment beyond the confines of the neo-
folk genre. The worldliness of the pro-
duction signals a departure from the
status quo for this singer who has been
Letting Go shows maturity in Osman's music
performing in T&T for more than five years.
A couple tracks work well in this new milieu of
layered sounds namely New Blues, with the organ
that mimics The Doors/Ray Manzarek sound over
a jazz waltz tempo.
The bluesy wail is not missed as Ruth channels
the lyrics intent; a series of repeated couplets pro-
fessing love and asking for a continued presence,
"Don t ever leave, boy/You ve got what I need."
The People is a pop track that loses the tenderness
of her folk voice in a production that would benefit
from a power voice, but the tune bristles with an
energy that is addictive.
Osman s voice possesses an elastic quality easily
moving from the enhanced vibrato singing voice à
la Stevie Nicks to a throaty falsetto that reaches
higher octaves. That voice characteristic, sadly, is
not accented on this record but placed dryly beside
That stark juxtaposition of the mix of voice and
music which plagues the rest of the album may be
a deficiency that certainly should not impede the
decision to purchase this new local music.
This album is a collection of influences, interna-
tional and obviously superlative. Album opener The
Sea reminds this reviewer of the production values
of Polish singer Basia and Danny White with its close
harmony on the background vocals by Candice Cor-
bie, Lisette Khan, Alisa Collymore and Sarah Joseph-
Osman is a songwriter, and her poetic lyrics are
given life in this lush setting. These songs, which
she previously performed acoustically, are treasures
for their note-worthy lyricism.
A collection of affirmations and love songs in the
true sense, her power with the word is neither airy
nor vapid, but speaks to the essence to what love
is; love for her child, love for her husband, love of
Little Darlin , a lullaby for her young daughter is
set only with piano, flute and conga, and beautifully
tells of a mother s calming voice and, yes, love.
In an interview Osman said that of the dozens of
songs that she had available for this album, these
were, in her opinion the "commercial" ones.
The pop sensibility of Dasent and Osman has
stripped any "tropicality" from these songs leading
one to believe that the intent is on the music more
so than the personality.
Even a cover of Shadow s Dingolay smoothens out
the urgent danceability of the original concentrating
on the message in the words.
The voice does not bubble. The track Rain retains
the simple acoustic setting of old, featuring John
Hussain on acoustic guitar with a little Hammond
This song s uncluttered production where voice
and lyric are given prominence, is an echo to her
roots and is missed elsewhere on this album.
The opportunity to work with Jason Dasent came
from him listening to Osman sing at an event in 2012
where they both performed, and his subsequent pur-
suit to place her in a setting at
This CD represents one
part of a larger effort by the
Studio Jay team to place
local music in the global
market place especially
Osman, and in a
sense the local music
industry will also
benefit from a DVD
launch concert later on
which will reinforce
marketing this singer
in the global mar-
A concert, a
good dividend for
Osman s future.
Ruth Osman's Letting Go CD cover art work.
Links Archive July 26th 2013 July 28th 2013 Navigation Previous Page Next Page