Kayte Burgess Checked Baggage

Kayte Burgess Checked Baggage
In a perfect world, Toronto R&B singer Kayte Burgess would have released her sophomore album, Checked Baggage, to much wider fanfare. A well-known commodity on the Toronto nightclub/lounge circuit, Burgess is a classically trained vocalist and ardent R&B/soul disciple. On Checked Baggage, Burgess plies her mellow and playful three-and-a-half-octave range against an urban aural backdrop of R&B, pop and soul. But even backed by names such as A Tribe Called Quest’s Ali Shaheed Muhammad and Nelly Furtado collaborators NuVintage, the 13 tracks that make up Checked Baggage collectively represent a stiff sonic uppercut more than a knockout blow. Sure, a track like "Now You Know” (with its jacked Jackson Five "Show You the Way to Go” riff) bumps and a joint like "This Love Is” benefits from the breathy Burgess vocals and taut production but ultimately, there’s nothing here that suggests automatic inclusion into the urban soul zeitgeist. This isn’t a diss however — in terms of modern R&B, Checked Baggage is slick. It’s conscious, genuine and suggests that Burgess’s best is yet to come. (Hi-Bias/Warner)