I'm loving this at the moment. Imani Coppola ('quirky' New York pop soul chanteuse) had a minor hit a few years ago with Legend Of A Cowgirl. Her album was packed with great tunes, she was obviously absurdly talented and had an image that was odd enough to stand out but without frightening the horses, a bit like Neneh Cherry maybe. I remember writing at the time that we'd be hearing a lot more from her.
And then nothing. Apparently she fell out with her record company and got dropped. Now she's back as half of Little Jackie (with multi-instrumentalist Adam Pallin). The Stoop's a riot of catchy melodies, hip-hop lite rhythms, all kinds of now-you-hear-it-now-you-don't musical references and buckets of pizzazz. It sounds like Motown might have sounded today if they'd focused on Smokey Robinson's workplay and social observation rather than Stevie Wonder's mawkish sentimental ballads.
Imani flits effortlessly between tricksy vocal pyrotechnics (no high-flown melisma, just rapid, spot-on lyrical delivery), well-articulated raps and something in-between. The lyrics are great too, and often very funny - on Liked You Better Before's she muses on her own bad influence on a once-cool boyfriend: "I liked you better before, Your friends started calling me 'the psycho'... It's like Jekyll and Hyde, I've created a monster - it's alive!" Actually, it sounds much better the way she does it. Or Black Barbie (probably not about Naomi Campbell, just out-of-control celebs in general) - "I've never had to watch my weight, Just call my publlicist, she'll get my story straight."
There are a couple of videos on YouTube, but there's not a duff track on the album. And with Amy Winehouse missing in action, this does more than fill the gap for funny, sassy, lyrically spot-on pop with a retro twist. This time, surely, Imani Coppola's back to stay.
Yes I think so. I really was genuinely surprised that she seemed to disappear after the first album, she just seemed to have so much going for her. Turns out she's apparently been putting out albums on her own in-between, I haven't heard any of them yet so I'll have to start digging.