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  Grenique
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Trials and Tribulations

 
The Maryland-born Grenique is one of the more promising of the new soul vocalists.  As a child, she set her sights on getting a record deal and by her twenties she was picked up by Kedar Massenburg, the man behind the initial signings of D'Angelo and Erykah Badu. She followed Massenburg over to Motown, where her debut Black Butterfly was released to moderate acclaim. 

Grenique's Deepest Groove

Black Butterfly (Motown, 1999)
Like many first efforts, the influences are little too evident: the title cut could have been lifted off Dionne Farris' album and one wonders if lead single "Should I" was released to capitalize on the anti-scrub movement hitting radio at the time.  But this underrated album has a number of high points: the Chaka Khan-ish "Let Go," the perky "Anything," and a killer version of "Star of the Story," which she makes her own. Where Grenique really shines, though, are on tunes like "Trials and Tribulations" and "Love Within" where the sheer passion of her voice makes up for its limited power.  You can tell that she's putting her soul into the material, and that is a mark of all great singers.   Unfortunately, the disappointing sales may force her to go the indie route for her next release.  

Copyright 2001 B. Graff.  All rights reserved.

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