(30 October 2005) Joselyn Wilkinson made a name for herself as the founder of world music band ADAAWE. ShapeShifting (Self-released (USA), 2004) is her solo debut and finds her expanding her sound while staying true to her roots. Socially conscious funk/soul practically permeates from Joselyn as she delivers each song, taking care to treat each song uniquely. Joselyn is certainly a nice change of pace for fans always on the lookout for something creative and unique. Our indepth interview provides a unique insight into the artist's background.
Founder of World music wavemakers ADAAWE, Joselyn Wilkinson makes her solo debut with the funky, percussive, jazz-influenced ShapeShifting. Already a veteran artist/performer, you have every right to expect a lot more than the average debut from this album and Joselyn certainly delivers. While her world music roots are still felt on this album, much of the album is focused on a sort of funk/soul hybrid that is certainly reminiscent of 70s funk.
Joselyn's biting lyrics give the funk a socially conscious sting that indie music fans will definitely appreciate. As a matter of fact the socially conscious lyrics play a large part in the throwback feel of Shapeshifting. Joselyn's lyrical approach sort of bridges the gap between the hippie movement and the social awareness raised in early rap music.
One of the highlights here is the acoustic "By & By," Joselyn's voice shines throughout its duration and if you were having trouble getting into the album still at this point, this one will grab you. A large part of the reason why is the straightforwardness of the song, there is something magical about a single voice and an acoustic guitar and this song is very much evidence of that fact. The songs bring some definite focus to both the strength of Joselyn's voice and the beauty of her songwriting at its very heart.
Other highlights include the inspirational sound and circular movement of "Wild Roots Women," a unifying anthem for the likeminded. "Shine Like That," with its laid back horn work and deep bass is another moment of funkadelic goodness. While ShapeShifting doesn’t have universal appeal--largely due to its heavy funk leanings--people looking to break the monotony of the latest trends should not be afraid to check out Joselyn & Wild Roots.--Mark Fisher in West Virginia