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Cree Summer: Street Faerie

Album Reviews:

Rolling Stone (4/1/99, p.103) - 3 1/2 Stars (out of 5) - "...Summer and [producer, Lenny] Kravitz mix melody and rhythm and subtle ornamental touches like studio geniuses; they're so far in the pocket, they destroy the whole damn pool table..."

Album Notes

Personnel: Cree Summer (vocals); Lenny Kravitz (vocals, acoustic & electric guitars, Hammond B-3 organ, harpsichord, Clavinet, Mellotron, string synthesizer, bass, drums, congas, maracas, tambourine, finger cymbals, cabasa, cowbell, percussion, programming, loops); Craig Ross (acoustic & electric guitars, mandolin); Torrel Ruffin (guitar); Harold Todd (flute, saxophone); The Memphis Horns (horns); Terry Manning (drums); Cece White, Kim Evans (background vocals).

A former star of the TV show "A Different World," the oh-so-funk-lovely Cree Summer steps out for her solo debut on STREET FAERIE. These 13 cuts of groove-pop are tastefully produced and arranged by her friend, retro-rock specialist Lenny Kravitz. Kravitz's presence is felt throughout the album--in fact, he plays most of the instruments. Cree co-writes all of the sunny afternoon poetry, full of images of transformation, swelling, decay, shelter, madness, and love. Acoustic guitar riffs wrap around a raw fatback drum kit and percussion, Kravitz's characteristically melodic bass lines thump unrelentingly, electric fuzz guitars wail, a mellotron lends ether and flutes flutter in and out of sync with the whole thing.

Cree's gleaming vocal protractions on tunes like "Angry Boy" and "Mean Sleep" reveal the seeker in her--she casts those long notes out like nets for catching truth. "Fall" alternates between Hammond-and-flute-soaked balladry and a chorus that tears like barbed wire. "Revelation Sunshine" is surely one of the highlights here, with Cree showing her capacity for subtlety--exhibiting spellbinding girlish charm on her leads and harmonized chorus overdubs as she drives home the song's message of universal love.


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