Donnie The Colored Section

Don't know if it was a backhanded compliment or a tongue-in-cheek move but when I came across Donnie's The Colored Section while browsing in a record store, Stevie Wonder's seminal Fulfilingness' First Finale was stacked in front of it. Truth be told, Donnie does owe a lot to past soul masters Wonder and Donnie Hathaway, but unlike many other contemporary peers Donnie seems to not only have been inspired by their voices and music but also by their spiritual sincerity and has presented his own version. Aided and abetted by a crack musical unit there's a genuinely organic feel to the intricate musicality balancing Donnie's lyrical message. Donnie deconstructs American beauty myths and racial stereotypes among other subjects through compellingly melodic vocal arrangements. Proof positive of Donnie's knack of merging music and a message is the uplifting "Cloud 9" hinting at his hope for progress. He takes this desire to the next level on "Masterplan" where he liases with UK broken beat and future soul dons IG Culture and Kaidi Tatham. Through articulating his experience and providing a sharp critique of American society, The Colored Section demonstrates why there's been a buzz around this native of Atlanta's underground soul scene for some time. (Giant Step)