Sounds like … a soulful mix of Anita Baker, Oleta Adams, Alicia Keys and Natalie Grant

At a glance … Alyce Metallo's dynamic voice, charismatic delivery, and well-chosen material make for a truly memorable debut

When an iconic artist like Stevie Wonder gives an enthusiastic stamp of approval for an up-and-coming performer, chances are the music is worth the hype. That affirmation in Alyce Metallo's press kit certainly got me intrigued, but it was ultimately her soulful voice and superb mastery of several genres that kept me engaged over all 12 tracks.

Of course, it helps that Metallo has been playing the piano since she was two. Plus, she's had formal musical training at the College of Fine Arts and as an exchange student at the Universidad Complutense in Madrid. Outside of the classroom, she's performed in a choir alongside legends like Luther Vandross, Diana Ross, and Kenny Rogers at Bill Clinton's inauguration, played at a private event for Jesse Jackson Jr., and was a regular at numerous Kennedy Center concerts. To hone her skills in a live setting, she also toured throughout Europe, where she won the "International Song of Peace Award" in Ireland.

More than just another pretty, soulful voice, Metallo's classic piano training adds an unexpected richness to a genre that's often more predictable than not. Clever pacing and sequencing prevents this span-the-genres album from becoming too disjointed, ably ranging from techno-laced pop anthems ("Dive In!") to jazz ("Live in the Son") to simply adorned worship ("No Song Without You").

As with the best artists, Metallo delivers her songs with confidence and a sense of conviction. On "Blessed Assurance (My Story)," she adds verve to the time-honored hymn with dynamic, ...

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Alyce Metallo
Our Rating
4½ Stars - Excellent
Average Rating
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Release Date
March 1, 2008
Label
Christlike Music Group
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