Published Nov 25, 2015With her latest full-length release, Late Night Light — her first since 2011 — Ivana Santilli delivers a measured take on modern soul. Since her debut solo album Brown back in 1999 — and going even further back to her role as part of early '90s R&B crew Bass is Base — Santilli has preserved a penchant for personal and passionate soul music, generously borrowing elements of pop, funk and jazz.
No longer in her twenties — her words — the singer-songwriter and instrumentalist opts for a "grown folks" musical mentality here, with 11 tracks of mature thematic content. Tales of broken relationships, wounded hearts and drumming up the resolve to keep life moving forward characterize the project. Lead track "Forever 4 Now" rocks an '80s electro-soul groove, as does the island anthem flavour of the standout "Lovers Love 2 Rock." The rock strut of "I Used 2 Be Nice" probably comes off better in a live setting than it does here, but the soothing sonics of "Love Me Back" more than make up for it. The perils of online dating are explored amidst the bloops and beeps of "Calculate," while the French language "Long Silences" serenades with mellow melodic movement.
Late Light Night is a welcome return by the Toronto native. The album walks a balance between old soul and modern production, leaving listeners relaxed and satiated in the process. (Independent)