by John Gaddis
Saxophonist, vocalist Paula Atherton continues to add to her distinguished discography. Her latest full-length album is on the heels of her chart-topping single “Can You Feel It,” taking the #1 slot on Billboard, Mediabase, and the Smooth Jazz Network. The album Can You Feel It takes this booming sound one step further as Atherton digs deeply into the R&B tones of her voice to highlight all the hedonistic calculus requirements!
A classic take on “Forget Me Nots,” made famous by Patrice Rushen in the 80s, is a respectful reading by Atherton. Her voice caresses the timbre of the lyric with dynamic and soulful styling. Equally, Atherton is a hot-ticket altoist.
For those fans of great hook-lined 80s R&B, this one is an E-ticket ride. “Don’t Let Me Wait,” an original co-written with Lou Gimenez, is a reliable vehicle of adroitness. Atherton laces each line with intense expressiveness. Her vocals are precise and supple. Equally captivating is a gorgeous ballad written by Atherton & Gimenez, “Calling You.” Atherton, this time is supported by backing vocalist Deanna Carroll who has an innate blend that is captivating.
The album is a mix of instrumental and vocal cuts, each equitably satiating. Can You Feel It is a tour de force, and Atherton proves her salt throughout. The album is a pleaser. It ranges from funky R&B to Smooth-Jazz to Pop jubilant. Atherton has it all, the chops, the soulfulness, and the aptitude. Can You Feel It?