Soul singer mixes it up a bit too much on sixth disc
Almost exactly two years after the well-received The Phenomenal Ruthie Foster, the soulster is back, if somewhat less prodigious. There’s no denying the power of Foster’s monstrous voice, and while it’s tempting to say her smooth vibrato can do no wrong, the genre-bending singer bends a bit too much here. This disc too often veers away from her musical palette of folk, Americana, soul and blues, creating an overcooked confection of tunes. See the reggae-tinged “I Really Love You” or the Foster-penned “Dues Paid in Full” for examples of jaunty experiments gone awry. With a voice this strong, Foster’s music is most enjoyable on embattled scorchers with hard-nosed lyrics like title track “Truth!”, which features a rollicking guitar intro by Robben Ford (Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell) and a straight-for-the-gut message. Its unassuming intensity is Foster at her bravest.
Listen to Ruthie Foster's "I Really Love" from The Truth According to Ruthie Foster on MySpace.