DONNIE The Colored Section (Giant Step/Outside) Rating: NN Rating: NN
You can see what Atlanta crooner Donnie is shooting for on his debut, The Colored Section. Blurring the line between new-school neo-soul and overblown R&B, the record tries to be everything at once -- rootsy and conscious but also funky and accessible. It's a nice try, but Donnie really just sounds like a male India.Arie, belting out songs about self-empowerment and the Rainbow Coalition in a thin Stevie Wonder voice. The message is fine, but like India.Arie, it's unbearably earnest and dreary, suitable for candlelit revival sessions but nothing more substantial.