[image-4]Published June 19, 2008.
(Jericho Beach Music)
It's an all-too-common problem: Singer with obvious talent puts out record that lacks focus. Ndidi Onukwulu's The Contradictorsounds like an artist who knows how to nestle in the spaces between Norah Jones, Billie Holiday, Janis Joplin, Joan Osborne and Amy Winehouse, but nestles to the point of hiding. The listener is left with no clue about Onukwulu's identity. In large part, the fault lies with producer Steve Dawson, who also plays guitars, because he should've been the one to assert order and focus. Instead, he creates a revue of soul/blues/jazz-influenced rock. The caveat: Just because you can doesn't mean you should.