Diva Geek – ‘He Said, She Said’ | Album Review


The London-based duo known as Diva Geek is no stranger to the world of music. Singer Vula Malinga and multi-instrumentalist/producer Ben Jones have each been involved in various projects, the most notable being Vula’s appearance on Basement Jaxx‘s 2005 single “Oh My Gosh.” We’ve featured a few of Diva Geek’s tracks here on SoulCulture over the past year or so, but you may still need a bit of introduction.

Since beginning their journey in 2006 by getting to work on Vula’s debut EP If You Want It, which was finally released in 2008, Diva Geek’s musical connection has blossomed greatly, landing the pair supporting gigs for acts including Musiq Soulchild and British R&B band Loose Ends.

Four years after their first joint project, the duo decided to combine their talents once again to create their debut studio album He Said, She Said, which they released on their own label, Diva Geek Records.

Reeling the interest in, the album starts off on a positive note with “Mr Happy.” The radio-friendly song describes a love interest in the form of a Mr. Men character, and its hint of soul with an electronic twist sets the pace for the rest of the album.

Picking up the tempo for a more upbeat feel, the title track, “He Said, She Said,” describes the ups and downs of trust throughout a relationship, and the guitar riffs and synth-lead melodies laid underneath Vula’s vocals display Jones’ prodigious multi-instrumental talents.

“Hangin’ Wit U” stays on the topic of relationships, with Vula using a track that’s sure to get you moving to reflect on the disruption of a friendship caused by a new lover on the scene.

He Said, She Said uses a number of musical genres to cover a range of topics including lust (“Oh La Laa!”), inspirational grooves (“Go Hard”) and the general trials and tribulations of everyday life (“Trouble”). The duo even takes an attempt at Gospel with “Sunday,” a song Vula describes as “my gospel song done in our weird electric soul way,” and on which we hear the singer giving thanks for her talent and the opportunities that she’s had.

Diva Geek sways from the electro neo-soul sounds toward the middle of the album, where Vula touches on her Basement Jaxx days with “Money” – a song describing the materialistic lives we live today as we strive to earn riches to buy the best that the world can offer.

Other than that odd upbeat/pop track, He Said, She Said follows a mid-tempo pace, enabling listeners to get a true understanding of the group and what they have to offer.

Despite being described primarily as an electro-soul album, the clever musical artistry from Jones paired with Vula’s powerful vocals makes for a perfect sound overall, encapsulating their many musical influences from across the spectrum including Dwele, Eric Lau, Erykah Badu, Jamiroquai and many more (most of whom they thank at the end of the album).

http://youtu.be/_OaeA4lAH2w

Merging their original material with a set of distinctive covers of well known classics (including Hall & Oates’ “I Can’t Go For That” and Micheal Jackson’s “I Can’t Help It”) as well as incorporating their love for soul and electronic sounds, Diva Geek’s He Said, She Said is an invigorating take on modern-day soul. The 15-track project is a great debut album that, hopefully, will pave the way for more material from the two in the near future.

If you happen to be into the sounds of Jill Scott, J*DaVey, Floetry, etc., this album is definitely worth adding to your music collection.

Diva Geek – He Said, She Said
Released: April 23rd, 2012
Label: Diva Geek Records
Buy: iTunes UK / iTunes US / Bandcamp / Amazon UK / Amazon US

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