You’d be forgiven for confusing Guyanese-Canadian singer-songwriter Anjulie’s self-titled debut for an album by Portuguese-Canadian pop star Nelly Furtado: The bulk of Anjulie was co-penned and produced by Jon Levine, keyboardist for the Philosopher Kings, whose Gerald Eaton and Brian West were responsible for Furtado’s first two albums; and then, of course, there’s that voice—a slightly silkier, less idiosyncratic version of Furtado’s nasally mezzo-soprano. Levine’s production style isn’t quite as edgy or intricate as his former colleagues’, but it provides a lush, retro-soul bed upon which Anjulie lays her confessional lyrics. Lead single “Boom,” for example, pairs a South American-inflected brass arrangement with spaghetti western-style guitars and the singer’s infectious “boom-shalaka-laka” hook. Italian-Canadian artist Ivana Santilli failed to generate much U.S. label interest a few years back, with one record exec telling me, “We already have a Nelly Furtado” (this despite the fact that she sounded little-to-nothing like Furtado), so Anjulie’s future as a recording artist in the biggest music market in the world is, perhaps, tenuous. But the fact that she landed a record deal (albeit with a coffee chain) proves she’s already made it one step closer. And it helps that the songs on Anjulie—including “Addicted2Me,” which has already gained national exposure on MTV’s The City, and “Some Dumb Girl,” which is told from the perspective of an adulteress—display a knack for songwriting that could set Anjulie apart from the pack.
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