Shaharah No Turning Back

Shaharah No Turning Back
Montreal-based diva Shaharah is an incredibly appealing performer and she brings a much-needed fresh sheen to mainstream R&B on her six-song debut EP, No Turning Back. The vibrant, Motown-injected groove of the title track makes for a catchy ode to positive thinking and resiliency, and the lyrics and vocal inflections portray a maturity that's sadly missing from much of commercial R&B these days. The rest of the set is equally infectious and charming. "Jaded" is an entrancing summer club confection that has a buoyant and effortless flow, while the downtempo love on the down-low confession of "Secret" is coloured with empathy and bumping bass and handclaps. If it all gets a bit too slick towards the end, with a needless house remix of the title track, give Shaharah the benefit of the doubt. Given that a full-length album is due out later this year, much of No Turning Back is encouraging. (Independent)