INDIA.ARIE Voyage To India (Motown) Rating: NN Rating: NN
Having distinguished herself on her first record as a more earnest, increasingly humourless Tracy Chapman with beats, earth mama India.Arie is on nothing short of a mission with Voyage To India. A self-help lecture masquerading as an album, Voyage To India's R&B-lite is again driven by acoustic guitars and soft beats, with Arie cooing novel platitudes such as be nice to your mother, eat right and live your life to the fullest. There's nothing flashy, threatening, remotely funky or even vaguely insightful here. Sure, to a degree, Arie's mellow acoustic soul is a nice change from the histrionic bump 'n' grind of most R&B, but it's so squeaky clean that there's no real soul to it. You almost wish she'd get nasty once in a while.