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EP REVIEW: Ebony Burks - "Ebony Burks"
By Gian F - 04/15/2005 - 10:39 PM EDT

Artist: Ebony Burks
Album: "Ebony Burks"
CD Review: Genre: R&B
Sounds Like: Tamia
Technical Grade: 9
Production/Musicianship Grade: 10
Commercial Value: 10
Overall Talent Level: 10
Songwriting Skills: 10
Performance Skill: 10
Best Songs: Thinking Bout You, Jus A Lil Bit, I Need Ya, Something 2 Me
Weakness: ?
CD Review: A lot of the music that I receive is accompanied by hype. I hate hype. I only get hyped when I hear real talent and quality music. I don't like to read hype either...but sometimes while I'm throwing out press kits that contain it, something catches my eye, and in this case, Ebony Burks, a singer/songwriter/actress from Los Angeles, California, had an impressive list of writing credits that I coudn't ignore. It included Blu Cantrell, Toni Braxton, Raven-Symone, Timbaland and Whitney Houston. Surely, it most be hype if not a joke, right? Wrong!

Let's make this abundantly clear: Ebony Burks is the real deal.

The only thing more impressive than than her credits are her talents. In addition to being a writer, she has also sung background on many projects, but it's this project (her own) that showcases her wide vocal range and natural singing talent. How do you know when a singer is truly bad? When they work with different producers on every track and maintain a high level of consistent quality; which means that the artist is not only the common denominator, but the main ingredient. Yes, Ebony Burks is not only the real deal, she's bad also.

Because she is such a gifted - if not elite - songwriter, her songs could be promoted in many different ways, but she selected songs that target different audiences on this demo project. The hard-hitting "Wipe Ya Face," will certainly have appeal to the hip-hop generation and the Mary J. Blige fan base, but the most commercial track, "Be With You," is in step with current production trends. It proudly honors the 6 rules of commercial music success and rescues the lost genre of vintage r&b in the process. It should be followed up by the slam dunk hit, "Jus A Lil Bit," which becomes an instant contender for my 2005 Muse's Muse Award for best r&b song of the year.

In addition to writing skills, top-notch production, and keen commercial awareness, Ebony Burks has a secret weapon: a knack for blazing vocal arrangements.

Singers often underestimate the impact of good vocal arrangements. They are the frosting on the cake when quality production is married with melodic songwriting. Ebony's proficiency in mixing the two together is decisively evident on "Jus A Lil Bit," "I Need Ya," and "Something 2 Me" - all of which could be chart-topping radio hits.

Ebony states in her outro track, "Sing": "Nothing else matters more to me than the joy it brings when I sing." . That's very obvious. It's also obvious that you were born to sing.

Advice: You are making all the right moves to put yourself on a collision course with monster success.

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