Dawn Richard, "Goldenheart" (Altavoz Distribution)
As a member of Diddy-Dirty Money and Danity Kane, Dawn Richard was impressive. As a solo artist, she's extraordinary.
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Her solo debut, "Goldenheart," is an R&B field day of progressive, electronic and smooth sounds that play like one amazing musical adventure. Her unique voice -- which echoes Brandy -- glides over each song like magic as she sings about heartache and breaking through in the music industry (check out "Return of a Queen.") And Richard, who co-wrote the 16-track independent release, doesn't skip a beat.
"Pretty Wicked Things" is spooky and eerie -- in a good way. "Northern Lights" is addictive, while "Tug of War" and "Frequency" are certified Quiet Storm anthems.
"Goldenheart" isn't just golden, it's grand.