SoulBird Interlude: Trombone
Label: BMG Rights Management (US) LLC
"We all have a secret pain/ We all have a tender place," sings India.Arie on her fifth album, which mixes ballads such as "Cocoa Butter" and "This Love" with deeply empathetic lyrics of hope such as on "One," which exhorts world unity for the "humankind of seven billion." Songversation is a suite of contemplative adult soul underlined by Arie's preternatural calm and hushed yet expressive voice. But she makes sure to offer more dynamic arrangements near the end of the album, too, as the reggae-tinged "Thy Will Be Done" and the acoustic folk of "I Am Light" make for a welcome surprise.