No One Really Knows
Independent release, 2009
REVIEW BY: Paul Hanson
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 04/07/2010
Conchita Campos is the sexiest soul and jazz singer I’ve heard in a long time. Her vocal delivery is instantly engaging and her lyrics are pleasing to the ear. She has assembled an outstanding group of musicians that complement her vocals, though she only lists the names of the musicians in her group as “The Park” and doesn’t specify the guitarist, drummer, bassist, etc. in the liner notes. That information is not available on her Web site either. I wasn’t ready to forgive that oversight of common courtesy when I slid the disc in. But by the end of the first track, all was forgiven. (Another interesting thing about the packaging is that the tracks are listed in the following order on the back of the CD: 1, 2, 4, 3, 6, 5, 8, 7, 9. What significance that has is unknown.)
However, there is not a single dull cut on this release. If Campos’s vocals are not in the forefront of your mind during a song, there is the music behind her to captivate your interest. This is especially true during the pseudo drum solo during “Breathe” as the drummer – whoever he is – takes creative liberty with his snare and ride cymbal interplay over a delicious guitar riff and piano groove. You can envision Campos stepping to the side of the stage during this interplay and swaying to the beat. If anything, this track ends too suddenly, fading out the interplay between the musicians. It made me wish for an expanded version of the song as a bonus track or, at the least, a longer outro. The final track, “Ease My Mind,” features tasty brushes on the snare that compliment the slow, melodic guitar notes. This song seems like it doesn’t have a tempo; it’s hard to tap your foot to it because of its fluidity.
There’s a lot of ease in the way Campos delivers the lyrics. She dives into relationship uncertainty during “Not Today.” Over a soothing acoustic guitar, she sings, “He says that I’m no fool for loving him this much / But maybe loving him means / Not loving me enough” followed by “Is this the kind of game people in love must play? / ‘Cause if it is, then I’m remiss / Don’t want to be this way.” During “Silverline,” she contemplates her place in the world when she says, “And maybe I don’t see the world as it should be / All I know is a world / The way it works for me.”
This release contains music that crosses genres. There is jazz, adult contemporary, and pop music coming in and out of focus throughout these tracks. Campos’s vocals carry this album and leave a very favorable impression. I can envision this material being played in a jazz club to thunderous applause.