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The Floacist’s (aka Natalie Stewart) second album is filled with introspective, post-self discovery narrative aimed at bringing closure to the first chapter of her career and setting the stage for the next phase. While the general the sound and feel of the album are reminiscent of previous outings, her growth on Floetry Re:Birth is undeniable. This growth is evident on the track “Soul ” which addresses the break up of Floetry. If this were a hip-hop joint it would be regarded as a polite diss track aimed at her former bandmate.  However on this track, she simply tells her side of the story without any malice or prejudice.

Taking a page from her own book, The Floacist, treats listeners to soulful good times, lush production and sensuous, thought provoking lyrics. Reaching back she covers Floetry’s “Say Yes,” duets with Raheem Devaughn on “Start Again” (built on Marvin Gaye’s “I Want You”) and keeps the mood romantic on both “This Love” and “Slow Down”.

Her key strength has always been spoken word, which never comes across as contrived or out of place in today’s landscape. She effectively uses this medium to deliver her message whether it’s spiritual, romantic or socially conscious without preaching; without the expected pretensions that tend to turn off listeners.

Fans of The Floacist will be happy with this album on quality and general principal. While it’s billed as a Floetry album it doesn’t feel the same without Marsha, which is not to discount the vocal styling’s of Julie Dexter. It just goes down better hearing it as a solo effort by The Floacist.

For the curious this has soul, hip-hop and new world elements in addition to Natalie’s passionate delivery. Good album.

-Enyi Emesih

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