Fabiana Passoni displays her known strengths and reveals some new ones on her latest release, “Let Your Love Rise.”
Imagine a sunny afternoon at the beach in seclusion or with an intimate acquaintance and a bottle of Cachaça (Brazilian achohol). Now imagine the perfect soundtrack to go with that experience and what you might get is Fabiana Passoni’s “Let your Love Rise.” A collection of songs released more than 1 year after her previous record the excellent, “Dim the lights.”
The song that shares the title of this EP is an original song and Fabiana’s performance is a practice in vocal teasing. She manages to seduce the audience while still maintaining her tempered style of singing that will be familiar to fans and irresistible to newcomers. Her voice is alluring but never patronizing and the lyrics on the track compliment this quite well. The background to this is an elegant arrangement of guitar licks sprinkled with piano riffs. The final result is a display that balances playfulness and restrain; the perfect tease.
This is followed by Passoni’s rendition of Jame Brown’s 1965 soul-funk classic, “I feel good.” The original was given a makeover and the composition and lyrics are the only recognizable remnants. Fabiana takes the song and makes it her own. She tones down the energy levels and rawness that made the original so exciting but does this without sucking the life out of the track. When she sings “I feel good, I knew that I would,” the audience can believe her. While on the original Brown seemed exalted by enjoyable sensations, Fabiana seems to be quietly reveling in her elation on this version.
The EP finishes with her version of Carole King’s Jazzman. This song is a bit closer to home than “feel good” but yet still Passoni makes it all her own. The cascading piano chords and hauntingly powerful vocals are substituted for a more sparse musical arrangement and a smooth vocal performance by Fabiana. Another impressive cover.
If “Dim the lights” demonstrated Fabiana’s unique ability to take energetic classics from yesterday and turn them into smooth, seductive songs then this EP sees her continue that in fine form. Notwithstanding, this EP also displayed what she can do with completely original material. The self-titled track proves that Fabiana can generate her synthesis of calming, sultry but lively music within herself and not only when provided with a pre-existing muse. Few artists can manage both and still retain their identity but for Fabiana it seems effortless.