Grenique Black Butterfly

Grenique Murray will no doubt draw comparisons to the soul vibe of artists like Erykah Badu and D’Angelo. It doesn’t help that Kedar Massenburg (the new head of Motown), brought both those artists into the public eye and has his fingerprints all over Black Butterfly, acting as a co-producer on some tracks and executive producing the project. But the folkie feel of the title track helps Grenique neatly side-step those knee-jerk comparisons. Her rich and textured voice probably intimates more than many R&B female trios put together and is reminiscent of Chaka Khan on the taut “Let Go.” Heatwave’s “Star Of A Story” is given a stunning makeover courtesy of Chico DeBarge’s warm production and Grenique’ falsetto performance. Rising through adversity is a theme that is constantly revisited, but it is only on “Love Within” that Grenique addresses this theme on an intensely personal level. And while the production could (especially toward the end) do with a little more variety, Black Butterfly is a genuinely soulful debut. (Motown)