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£15.49

Soul - Released February 15, 2019 | BMG Rights Management (US) LLC

India Arie Simpson's first proper album since 2013's SongVersation, Worthy is truly the follow-up to 2017's SongVersation: Medicine, an EP. Quietly released, SongVersation: Medicine missed the Billboard 200 but did gain enough recognition to be nominated for a Grammy in the category of Best New Age Album. With its soft, atmospheric sound and emphasis on affirmation and wellness, the EP wasn't out of place beside the other nominees and suggested that Simpson could thrive outside the strictures of the urban adult contemporary format. A fair portion of Worthy can be added to an India.Arie playlist of songs promoting inner strength, but Simpson also has a lot to say about good and bad aspects of relationships, the effects of systemic racism and greed, and how to be an undaunting force for change. Production-wise, this contains some of her slickest, most pop-leaning material, but she puts forth a message of optimism and compassion over all of it, even when the observations are inflamed. Those who have been with her since the debut are bound to be pleased by the album's second half, where Simpson's beatific and organic modes dominate. ~ Andy Kellman
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R&B - Released January 1, 2007 | Motown

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Soul/Funk/R&B - Released January 1, 2001 | Motown

As one of the most promising neo-soul artists yet to emerge in the past few years, India.Arie casts her lot with the best artists of her label's storied history, playing deeply introspective songs laced with glistening acoustic guitar, churchy organ, and smooth, supple beats. When she name-checks those artists no longer with us that she claims as influences (Ma Rainey, Miles Davis, Karen Carpenter, Charley Patton, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Donny Hathaway, etc.) in three separate interludes, you have no doubt she is looking back as well as forward, even going so far as to invoke Sam Cooke's "A Change Is Gonna Come." But Acoustic Soul is at its best when the arrangements are deliberately modern. And despite the uniqueness of being a guitar-based R&B album, it is Arie's thick, sandy voice that shares star billing with her exceptional lyrics. Betraying youthful vulnerability while at the same time projecting strength, confidence, and uncanny insight for a 25-year-old singer/songwriter, Arie wraps herself effortlessly around the deep, funky sensuality of "Brown Skin," and stands tall in defiance of pop-fashion expectations on the irresistibly catchy "Video." The uplifting "Faith, Courage, Wisdom" rides along on a euphoric chorus, and the plainly autobiographical "Back to the Middle" recounts an emotional and spiritual coming of age. Without the many concrete references to the great R&B music of the past, Acoustic Soul would be a purely modern gem, but as Arie is determined to pay her debts up front, it's much more, and that is admirable. ~ John Duffy
£14.49

R&B - Released January 1, 2006 | Universal Records

India.Arie's third album would've sounded much different if it had been recorded and released shortly after 2002's Voyage to India. It would've either been made just before or immediately after a major breakup, one that informs much of Testimony: Vol. 1, Life & Relationship. This isn't a bitter breakup album; instead, it's largely a breakup album that instead involves forgiveness, closure, and -- of course -- the kind of soul searching that Arie's fans have come to expect. Arie's relationship was apparently very serious, as demonstrated in "These Eyes," where she demands respect and wonders what her and his children would've been like. Though songs like "Good Mourning" deal with the immediate aftermath ("Good morning silence, good morning to myself/Good morning to the pain in the center of my chest"), they also seem to revel in it as just another part of being alive ("Good morning acceptance, good morning inner strength/I'm loving every moment, even the inner strain"). The album is a major production. Many of its songs involve well over a dozen musicians, some of which -- Rachelle Ferrell, Keb' Mo', Victor Wooten, Rascal Flatts, Acoustic Soul accomplice Mark Batson -- are bound to make some listeners freak. It's clear that Arie has been listening to a lot of country music; while these songs are completely hers (with the exception of Don Henley's "Heart of the Matter," a song that easily fits into the scheme of the album), it wouldn't be surprising to hear a handful of them covered by contemporary country artists. Since a significant portion of the album is centered around heartbreak and moving on, some of Arie's fans might not ever connect fully connect with it, but it will certainly be of great assistance to any of her fans who find themselves coping with something similar. ~ Andy Kellman
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Soul - Released January 18, 2019 | BMG Rights Management (US) LLC

£7.99

R&B - Released January 1, 2002 | Motown Record Company L.P.

£10.99

R&B - Released July 28, 2017 | BMG Rights Management (US) LLC

Back with Motown, India.Arie is rejuvenated for her fifth album, which follows a lengthy hiatus. A series of mishaps, combined with some dissatisfaction regarding the sound of her recordings, prompted the break. She even contemplated leaving the industry. However, only the most attentive listeners will hear a considerable difference between SongVersation and the Testimony albums. Largely a low-key, gently uplifting affair with a soft, warm glow, 11 of its 16 tracks are enhanced with assistance from several Turkish musicians -- including percussionists, horn players, an oudist, and the Istanbul Strings -- who were recorded at the studio of Sezen Aksu (one of the guests on Testimony, Vol. 2). Longtime co-producer and instrumentalist Shannon Sanders remains, while new associate David Ryan Harris (Dionne Farris, John Mayer) is another major factor. The album's upbeat tone is set with the driving "Just Do You," a career highlight boasting a chorus that recalls the pre-chorus of Michael Jackson's "Rock with You." Apart from certain accents from the Turkish musicians, none of the material will surprise anybody. Sweet, sighing, relaxed numbers like "Flowers" ("You're the moral compass directing me to light") and "Cocoa Butter" ("You are like cocoa butter on my heart") are among the most India.Arie-like songs laid down. Everything -- most exemplified by "Break the Shell," inspired by an encounter with Cicely Tyson -- transmits positivity, even when she admits that, as a woman "almost four decades in" with neither a lifelong partner nor children, she's unsure of her position in life. It's evident that Arie's in a good place, both creatively and personally, yet SongVersation is not about self-satisfaction. She has no trouble bringing her listeners along. ~ Andy Kellman
£6.49

Soul - Released June 30, 2017 | BMG Rights Management (US) LLC

Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter India.Arie returns with her first ever EP, SongVersation: Medicine. Arie intended that the collection be listened to during quiet times like prayer, meditation, and yoga. The first two singles from the record, "I Am Light" and "Breathe," originally appeared on the Beyond the Lights soundtrack in 2014. ~ Bekki Bemrose
£13.49

R&B - Released January 1, 2008 | Universal Records

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R&B - Released January 1, 2006 | Universal Records

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R&B - Released January 1, 2010 | Motown

Despite an excellent debut, India.Arie still had much to prove with her second record. Several of her neo-soul compatriots, from D'Angelo to Erykah Badu to Macy Gray, had faltered with sophomore albums, and it appeared she may have already said everything she had to say on Acoustic Soul. That anticipation, and trepidation, is exactly what makes Voyage to India such a beautiful surprise; it's a record that easily equals her debut, boasting better vocal performances but also better songwriting and accompanying production. As on her debut, there is a marked balance of organic and artificial: an acoustic guitar paces many tracks, though the edges are shorn off for a digital feel; the beats are often sampled, but there are still plenty of handclaps and fingersnaps; and the arrangements are simple yet obviously very polished. The improvement in her songwriting is most obvious from the first three tracks (after the short intro). The themes driving "Little Things" (keeping it simple), "Talk to Her" (the importance of honesty, warmth, and communication in relationships), and "Slow Down" (taking life one day at a time) certainly have been covered already, many times even, but India.Arie writes with a fresh perspective that makes it sound as though she's the first to broach the topic. And, finally, her delivery is the best of any neo-soul vocalist, barring only the incomparable Jill Scott, alternately earnest and playful and sexy and questing. It all adds up to one of the most glowing comebacks of the year (if she ever left), an important record whose stamp -- the Motown logo -- isn't the only thing it has in similarity with a classic LP by Marvin Gaye or Stevie Wonder. ~ John Bush
£1.99

Soul - Released September 15, 2018 | BMG Rights Management (US) LLC

£7.99

Pop - Released January 1, 2002 | Motown

£2.99

R&B - Released January 1, 2005 | Universal Records

£12.49

Ambient/New Age - Released October 16, 2015 | Motown (Capitol)

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R&B - Released January 1, 2013 | Motown - Island Def Jam

£11.49

R&B - Released January 1, 2009 | Universal Records

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R&B - Released January 1, 2005 | Universal Records

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R&B - Released January 1, 2012 | Motown - Island Def Jam

£13.49

Soul - Released March 27, 2001 | Universal Records