Much like our ‘Retro Rewind’ and ‘From the Vault’ segments, readers of That Grape Juice know what avid music lovers we are – especially of hits past. So in a quest to re-spin the gems and jams of yesterday we introduced a new retrospective segment – ‘TGJ Replay’.
Unlike its ‘Rewind’ and ‘Vault’ predecessors, ‘Replay’ looks to dust off and showcase albums (and eras) from a library of pop music hits. Take a voyage in time to Grammy-winner India Arie‘s modern classic ‘Voyage To India’ below:
2001 saw R&B soulstress India.Arie strum her way into hearts and charts with her critically and commercially acclaimed debut album ‘Acoustic Soul’.
Its successes (including seven whopping Grammy nominations - Album, Record, Song of the Year, and more) certainly put India on everyone’s map. But, as with many artists who experience “overnight” success, some feared its follow-up would suffer the dreaded”sophomore slump”.
With 2002 came the answer and ease of those fears – ‘Voyage To India’, the singer’s highly anticipated second LP.
Sticking to its predecessor’s tried and true formula, the guitar-wielding beauty wove together an album of pure R&B poetry -devoid of bass-thumping, pop-imbued microwave hits, but filled with story-tellers like lead single ‘Little Things’…
‘Voyage’ was indeed a narrative journey, accompanied by Arie’s trusty strings and stunning vocal displays. Evidence of the singer’s sonic and lyrical growth from just the year prior was evidenced by tunes like ‘Slow Down’, ‘Get It Together’, and the tear-jerking anecdote ‘Good Man’.
And, while most of the album’s offerings may have not been the most radio-friendly, the songstress still found ways to balance her style and substance with the R&B happenings of the time…
Indeed, ‘Voyage To India’ is a must have for any collector, especially those particular to the R&B persuasion. In a time where hip hop and teen pop were still very much the dominating forces on charts, Arie dared to push an artistic envelope – one that saw many-an-ode to her unapologetic afrocentricisms while steering away from the fluff of mainstream.
Yes, this album brought her first two Grammys (after being unceremoniously snubbed the year prior), but it was clear no industry accolade was required to truly toast this platinum-selling masterpiece as it spoke volumes for itself.
Veritable poetry in motion, indeed. We salute you India and send off this post by turning up the volume on a TGJ favorite, ‘God Is Real’…
‘God Is Real’
What’s your favorite song from ‘Voyage To India’?