Shine marks the second solo album for British musician Dani Wilde, following the 2008 release of Heal My Blues with Ruf Records. Raised on Motown and blues, it’s no surprise that Wilde’s music bears a resemblance to classic blues-rock. Wilde has previously sung backup vocals for folk singer Maddie Prior and in 2006, Wilde and her brother started playing concerts before landing a contract with Ruf in 2007. Wilde’s sophomore album plays with traditional blues riffs and vocals that shift between soulful and breathy. All of the aspects of a strong blues ensemble are present and the album is a pleasant listen. However, there’s not really anything new or unique here, which leaves the listener wanting in several places.
Wilde’s band is a solid combination of good musicians. Her vocals carry the tracks, capable of switching from a cool pop sound to a throaty jazz sound on a dime. The guitar provides solid walking blues lines and skillful solos. But the most enjoyable piece of the ensemble is the harmonica. It’s rare to hear tracks accompanied by such a powerful harmonica line, and it adds something extra. Horns and additional vocals occasionally pop in on a few tracks, and for the most part, Wilde has a tight sound. But despite the clear talent and the catchy tunes, there really isn’t anything new here. The first three tracks carry the same kind of sound, making them almost indistinguishable from one another. That in addition to the considerable length of the songs (many are longer than five minutes) can give the listener some fatigue by the end of the album.
Nonetheless, there is a lot of good here. “How Do You Do It” and “Don’t Give Up On Me” are of particular note as they are some of the few tracks on the album to provide a different sound. “How Do You Do It” has a gospel flow and is accompanied by piano while “Don’t Give Up on Me” provides a slower, folksy sound. Another track to catch is “Born to Love Him,” which follows the jazz formula but manages to be catchy and a fun listen.
Shine as an album is decent. The musicians are so clearly talented that it is worth checking out. The sound could benefit from a bit of updating, but you really can’t go wrong with good talent.
The Review: 7/10
Can’t Miss Tracks
– How Do You Do It
– Don’t Give Up On Me
– Born to Love Him
The Big Hit
– Born to Love Him
Review by Sarah Richmond