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Current concise reviews of the albums by adult alternative, contemporary, and crossover artists. Images of album artwork and links to both internet-based resources are always included. Click on the title to view the article.

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Damita CD Cover
Image © 2000\r\n\r\nAtlantic Records  

(04 September 2000) The debut self-titled album from Damita Haddon is available on Atlantic records from September 26. With her gospel R&B singing style, Damita inspires, moves anddelivers the "Truth" and the beauty of "Life," or thepassionate questing of "Why." Inspired by her faith,Damita's emotion has become a trademark sound. The Detroit native is no novice. She's sung with ArethaFranklin—"It was a humbling experience, having one ofthe greatest singers in the world ask me to sing withher"—a seasoned stage performer and the wife of Gospelstar Deitrick Haddon.

Fresh out of high school, Damita toured with the Gospel theater production Mama Don't. She realized that thiswas what she was meant to be doing with her life. Now witha new group of R&B producers, Damita could create the soundshe was looking for. Damita says that it "added the hotsauce—the pepper—to the mix. They helped give me theurban street edge."

Damita recognizes the source of her trademark sound. "The songs on the album lyrically can go both ways. Theycan either be about a loved one or God. But no matter what kind of music you're singing, you know that God hasplaced this finger or even his fingernail upon it. It's something you just can't copy."

"Why," "Truth," "Life" and "Spirit Inside" have thisstrong R&B edge to them that makes you want to moveto the music. However, if you sit and listen to thewords carefully, Damita's voice tells the meaning ofher music and its very powerful. "Cavalry" sets the firstfour tracks apart from this one. The first ballad on the album is a beautifully sung religious song that bringsout Damita's voice. The upbeat track "Hold On To Your Faith" adds a gospel choir and rich instrumental arrangements that blend nicely with Damita's voice. The track clearlyemerges from the rest as one of the best on the album. "I Can Feel Him" has a more of an R&B beat where her styleis most reminscent of R&B artist Monica. The words oneach of these tracks are very powerful, are delivered bythe artist evocatively and shouldn't be taken lightly.

"If I Ever" and "Won't Be Afraid" are upbeat balladsmore of an R&B style than Gospel. However the Gospelcomes out again in the words of the songs. "Real Friend"takes Damita's faith into the song and shows that Christis her way and her faith. "The Wedding Song," "Day GoBy" and "Holdin' On," all ballads, are sung by Damitamore in a soul style than anything else. It is a beatiful flow of voice and words that are so movingto the human ear.

Damita is very interested in reaching fresh ears and the hearts and minds of the young. "I'm sure they'll like the music," she says, "because they'll know I haven't forgotten them. And they want to be heard. Music plays a big part in how kids react. We've got to communicate. Sometimes you can get a little too"urban" or sometimes a little too "mature." That's why the album strikes a balance."

Produced by leading cutting edge hip-hop Atlantaproducer Arif Martin and husband Deitrick Haddon, Damita adds the diverse depth and grace that isneeded for a world class album. You can order Damita's self-titled album, read editorial reviews and hear soundbites at amazon.comhere. A well-produced R&B Gospel crossover album, it is a very nice listen!—Deborah J Elliot

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