You know how usually most albums are somewhat top heavy? Typically the first few tracks are the ones that stick with you the most, and as you get deeper into the album, especially at the end, it often feels like filler. When I first played Rare Child, the second album from Danielia Cotton, the first few songs struck me as good, but didn’t really completely grab me. It wasn’t until I got into the middle of the album that my ears really started perking up and paying total attention.
There are two things I take away from listening to the album in its entirety. First, and foremost, is Cotton’s voice. It’s the kind of voice that seems like would easily overwhelm a microphone if the singer really got up on it. It’s full, it’s powerful, but it still is graceful and feminine. It’s the kind of voice that I could picture singing gospel solos sans mic and still completely filling a room. Don’t think I’m simply suggesting it’s loud; that’s most definitely not the case. Even with its intensity, it still carries rich emotions and shades of subtlety.
The second aspect of the album which I enjoy, and which complements and even lifts Cotton’s vocals, is the blues tainted soul sounds that the music carries. While some of the tracks rock nice and loud, others convey a hushed intimateness. Regardless, both tones feel equally familiar with Cotton’s spirit.
Returning to my original observations about Danielia’s voice, she was raised listening to the jazz and gospel music that her mother and aunts sang, which could account for that strong presence her voice carries. The album is the follow-up to her debut, Small White Town, which came out back in 2005, and hits shelves on May 20th.