Published Feb 16, 2015With a background in opera and jazz, West London-bred Fae Simon has collaborated, toured and performed with the likes of N'Dambi, Pharaohe Monch, MF Doom & Madlib, Get Cape Wear Cape Fly and the Beatnuts, among others, paying her proverbial dues for over two decades. While the bulk of her impressive 2009 debut, Mellowdrama, focused on the mutability of interpersonal relationships, follow-up Outrospective is rooted in Simon's diverse encounters while touring, with music being the underlying unifier.
That might sound a bit clichéd, but what makes Outrospective such a delight is Simon's assured and effortless vocals. It also doesn't hurt that there's not a weak track on the set. The space-y, broken-beat infused "Free Again," the buoyant sway of "Magic City" and the deceptively upbeat vibe of "The Cycle," which masks a stinging analysis of racial identity, are all high points. The seven-plus-minute closer, "Too Hot," gives Simon a chance to strut her jazz chops while smartly avoiding any grandstanding during her scat singing, with a refined delivery that wraps the album on a lovely note. Outrospective confirms that Fae Simon is a talent to watch. (BBE)