Singing In the Summertime (Music Thoughts: Summer Sessions Nicole Henry & James Bryan)

BlogI know I have listened to Nicole Henry before, but maybe she never made a distinct difference to my ear because as I listen to her new EP, “Summer Sessions,”  I cannot really remember all her other recordings. That is not saying she is bad – as a matter of fact, she has the pipes. And that voice is showcased well here, in this new release, which is a duet album with James Bryan, a guitarist who has previously worked with Nelly Furtado. She opens with an acoustic version of “My Love Is Your Love,” and while it is sung well, and I am glad someone else is singing this song, her version is not that far from Whitney’s. I wish she had done something a little more different with it. As she seques into “how Insensitive,” the vibe gets better. Against the guitar, her voice stands out, and I feel her affinity for the song. And she shows, in “No One Is to Blame,” that she can put her own spin on songs, as she infuses her own personal style in Howard Jones’ 80s classic. The original songs that follow did not really impress me, but in all fairness, I have played them only twice. And she does end it with a great track, a slow burn cover of Tracy Chapman’s “Baby Can I Hold Your Hand.” I think Ms. Henry does great pop covers; I just don’t know why she and her albums aren’t as memorable.

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