Culture

New Music: Lina – The Inner Beauty Movement

by Winston "Stone" Ford

Lina - The Inner Beauty Movement

The newest addition to Hidden Beach Records (home to Jill Scott, among others), Lina first broke on the scene with her 2001 debut Stranger on Earth, combining a vintage jazz/swing sound with contemporary production. Now Lina is back with her follow-up, The Inner Beauty Movement, which picks up where Stranger left off.

Lina continues to meld R&B, hip-hop, jazz, and swing on Movement though, this time around, there???s more of an emphasis on the modern R&B sound. With a voice and vibe that will likely draw comparisons to everyone from Billie Holliday to Erykah Badu, Lina continues to forge her own style, her vocals flowing easily over such midtempo grooves as Fly and Run to Me or inspirational ballads such as Leaving You and
I Am.

The Inner Beauty Movement is fairly consistent ??? there really isn???t a bad song on the album, though it does seem rather lengthy at 20 tracks. Clearly, Lina has a lot to say, much of it involving the dynamic of relationships and life in general. She stands out from the majority of her peers in her ability to tell stories through song, something which is sorely lacking in much of today???s crop of R&B singers. One listen to All Around the World ??? an engaging duet with Anthony Hamilton about young love rediscovered ??? is proof of both her storytelling and musical talents.

Her previous label, Atlantic, didn???t seem to know what to do with someone of Lina???s caliber. Here???s to hoping that Hidden Beach will do a better job of heightening public awareness of this talented and highly underrated artist.