Slow to Burn

Vanessa Daou, 'Slow to Burn'

Vanessa Daou, 'Slow to Burn (1996, MCA Records/Krasnow Entertainment)

“Vanessa Daou’s breathy, intimate vocals stride clear across the jazz-inflected dance-pop of Slow to Burn… Funky and ethereal, dreamy and articulate, Daou’s flow is embellished by the deft, insinuating rhythms of the music.” VIBE

“Daou’s rolling drum mixes and incisive lyrics defy categorization… Daou bounces between jazz and trance music, equalizing genres… Her voice can sound like Fiona Apple without the bitterness, and then turn breathy like an old-school diva. … This is sexy, volatile stuff.” Daily Bruin

“Vanessa Daou moves somewhat away from the intense eroticism of Zipless on her second album, but it is a no less seductive or steamily crepuscular effort. Each of Slow to Burn’s 11 songs pays homage to an influential female artisan, from musicians (Billie Holiday) to artists and poets (Gertrude Stein, Frida Kahlo) to actresses and dancers (Greta Garbo, Josephine Baker), whose life exemplifies complete liberation, artistic or otherwise. … Her smoky whisper is vulnerability itself, pure late-night allure that is chilling because it acts as a spectral knife-edge, both empowering and dangerous. Her vocals are down in the mix, treated with echo, and some of her vocal phrasing (though not the vocals themselves) is reminiscent of Sade. And like Sade, Vanessa Daou has an icy veneer to her voice without ever coming off as frigid or overly calculated. In fact, it has just the opposite quality. Her singing is a gauzy, windswept curtain in the dark, and it equally draws you curiously closer to it and sends an eerie tingle through you because of what might be behind it. There is a reason that Slow to Burn is perfect post-midnight music. It is a subtle jolt of electricity that illuminates the blue darkness and makes all the shadows sparkle.” Stanton Swihart, All Music Guide

“Vanessa Daou has the voice of an angel. Her introspective and downtempo songs emanate from her passion for art. Her studio veteran husband Peter adds his impressive musical skills to the mix and helps forge and identifiable sound landing somewhere between trip-hop and jazz. Call it what you will, but they’re making some of the most vital music of the moment.” Darren Ressler, MixMag

“Imagine yourself underwater for a few hours. You’re scuba diving. Smooth warm currents tugging at your body. You’re stoned and lucid at once. The aural landscape funneling into your ears, melting into your imagination, is a soundtrack of your best friends’ dreams – full of all the shocking tender admissions only best friends can share. Vanessa Daou’s second album, Slow to Burn, is an odd fusion of influences as tantric and seductive as breathing underwater. Void of information is something Vanessa finds very intriguing in her work as a musician.” Veronica Webb, Bikini Magazine

“Whereas ZIPLESS, her debut masterpiece, churned about in the steamy juncture of sex and intellect, SLOW TO BURN – an astonishing follow-up – gravitates more towards the heart. But dont be misled into thinking that neither sex nor intellect have been abandoned. In fact, the sense of ‘confessional’ seems to heighten the presence of both. Vanessa has penned the lyrics this round (ZIPLESS’ lyrics were sizzling adaptations of Erica Jong’s poetry), with poignant phrases like “Red ball in a yellow sky/ I’ll follow you til the day I die” hanging in memory from the first spin of this amazing, affecting disc.

Once again, hubby Peter Daou, possibly one of more underrated arranger and producer talents on today’s scene, crafts Vanessa’s songs into neo-trip hop mini-movies, augumented with just enough funk and jazz to keep the proceeding danceable, but never mindless or without the capacity to evoke reflection, and sometimes, even tears.

…it’s worth it, and sears the digits off any Sade album (talented as she is, I find many of her tunes morose redundant for more than listening to 3 cuts in a row). Vanessa will take you through the entire gamut of human emotion, but she never lets you wallow in pathos or sentimentality. SLOW TO BURN is like that great fantasy you have of Mr or Mrs Right coming to life close to you in the most exciting scene imagined, and the intimacy and love are overwhelming.” L.S. Slaughter “silvanus” @ amazon.com

 

VIBE, 'Slow to Burn'

 

Bikini Magazine, Interview with Veronica Webb

MixMag, US cover

MixMag feature page 1

MixMag page 2
MixMag page 3DJ Times cover

DJ Times Contents

DJ Times

All Music Guide

Music Hound

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