S.E.L – Loc’d in Consciousness
Loc’d in Consciousness, the new album by the British artist S.E.L is a project that could easily fall into the background amid all the bombast and shiny objects that the music industry puts in front of our eyes and allows to seep into our ears. And that would be a shame because Loc’d in Consciousness is a record brimming with the virtues that I keep hearing folks say modern R&B doesn’t possess.
Those virtues begin with S.E.L’s voice. Anyone who looks at S.E.L’s biography wouldn’t be surprised by the polish that she brings to the game. That biography includes serving as a backing vocalist for legendary British R&B group Soul II Soul and working with a who’s who of talented artists that include Alicia Keys and Omar. S.E.L possess a smooth voice that seems to float above and move around the music and brings intimacy to the songs, and this heard on the slower tempo tracks such as “Falling,” her duet with Bryan Chambers, “My Point of View,” and her cover version of “You Gotta Be.”
S.E.L also adeptly handles up-tempo tracks such as the inspirational “Be Your Sun,” a track that finds her adopting the same conversational tone that she uses in “You Gotta Be.” In “Be Your Sun” S.E.L encourages listeners to speak life to themselves. The album’s title gives a hint into what S.E.L views as this project’s mission of inner growth and self-care. That can also be heard in a track like “Elevation,” which is a mid-tempo funk number where she exhorts young women and men to trust the gifts they possess to take them to higher levels.
S.E.L is an artist who has been on our radar for a while. Listeners know that her stage name is an acronym for Soulful Emma Louise. It’s always good when an artist embraces the identity of being a soul singer. It’s even better when they have the goods to back it up. Recommended.