Jully Black is a tremendous performer with a voice that can boom like a cannon and shine like polished silver. She has talents beyond the sung word (catch her on 'Da Kink In My Hair, Sundays at 7:30 pm on Global).
But I cringed when I heard her new single, Seven Day Fool, which desperately tries to recapture a dusted-off Motown feel. I winced again when I read the sticker on her album cover highlighting that Amy Winehouse-inspired single, especially because the song is such a pale, calculated reproduction.
Still, Black is too strong a writer with too much singing ability for Revival not to be good. But rather than trying to develop a singular identity that capitalizes on her boldness, she falls into the major-label trap of trying to shoehorn her way into an FM radio sound, giving the album the generic quality that troubles too many Canadian "urban" releases.
The canned production is undeservedly insipid and needlessly limits Black's potent and versatile energy. The only highlight is Wishing, which makes brilliant use of a whistling sample heard in Kill Bill.