Kelly Erez Review

We have received a very well written review via definition music dot com.

Kelly Erez – Hoxton Hall Review 22/09/11 by Naomi Jackson

“Does this girl really not have a record company? This girl is a star. Kelly Erez, probably the UK’s most talented R&B Soul singer has sold out the Hoxton Hall Theatre in London and despite having watched all her videos on You Tube and buying her 1 and only release to date (‘This Is Me’ EP), I’ve never seen her live, despite missing her last 2 shows in London. I wasn’t missing this one.

Hoxton Hall is such a unique place, an 1860’s Victorian Saloon-Style Music Hall and maybe we should not be surprised that Kelly Erez is playing here. It’s unique, like her.
The venue is quite compact but grand in stature and after the support act , ‘The Stow’, anticipation starts to build. Things are running a little late but no one seems to mind.
Given I only know 4 of her songs, I am not entirely sure what to expect as Erez is billed as playing for an hour. Her EP is a classy but laid back affair and I sense that most people are in the same position as me, given you get her EP as part of the ticket price.

Blackout! And an intro tape! It’s interesting that the intro tape (do they use tape these days?) is made up of DJ’s talking about Kelly Erez, clips of her music and Erez being interviewed herself. Music starts PUMPING and a massive chorus of ‘If you want more Money, Money, I got nothing for ya’ rings out and with a literal drop of a switch, Erez appears on stage to sing the verse to what I now know as ‘Money Money’, a song about the morality of what money might mean to a future suitor (they’ll be queuing up soon, she looks amazing!) for our songstress and clearly, it might not mean as much to her, listening to the words.

Most surprising is that this is a dance track. More surprising is that I like it! But I don’t ‘do’ dance. This is a simple pop melody, repetitive but diva-ish with a pumping beat. It’s hard not to like it to be honest and everyone seems to love it. Kelly Erez goes unexpectedly upbeat.

After a quirky musical interlude, we’re back on more familiar ground, 2 tracks from her EP in quick succession. Hand On Heart and Come To Me greet the crowd like 2 old friends and everyone feels like Kelly Erez has had hit records and sold out tours for years as there’s a great familiarity in the air.

Another new track follows in ‘Better Everyday’, a soulful and philosophical introspective (as many of her lyrics are) song that brings vocal drama to the performance and this swiftly followed by (yes, another new track), ‘Believe In Me’ and the reggae-inspired ‘Wanted Woman’. What is clear is that Kelly Erez has quite a bit of up tempo material that the world has not heard (yet) and that most of her lyrics are deep, meaningful commentaries on the social and human condition.

Could this be the invention of meaningful pop music? Could we call it Pop Soul? There’s influences all over the place from reggae to soul to dance and one of the appeals of Kelly Erez is that she seems to cross (genre) boundaries despite being routed in R&B and Soul.

Next track is case in point. ‘Xtra’ is a flat out sophisticated R&B pop tune with complex vocal melodies that only a massive talent like Erez could either write or sing (she did both by all accounts). It’s also the best and most poignant introduction of the night ,“Some people think that to make it in the music business, you need to strip a bit. This song’s about keeping your clothes on!” she humours. The crowd humours back before an En-Vogue-style R&B-fest with smart words hits them front on. “Do you need Xtra?” as Erez twangs her bra strap as to tease the audience.

I thought I’d seen the best of the night at this point. Nope. Cue the ‘Unplugged’ section! 2 songs performed with just guitar and piano that touched everyone as they allowed Kelly’s voice, which was the main attraction of the event, to take on a new range and delivery. ‘Not The Girl’ is a sassy slow jazz number that with exquisite timing and delivery had the audience hold its collective breath and ‘Is This Love?’, the Whitesnake track that Kelly posted on You Tube last year brought an air of familiarityback to the evening.

‘Wiser’ introduced the band back to the evening by way of another set of introspective lyrics and delicate music. And then…


Then. Bang! The song EVERYONE in the room knew. ‘Letters’.

‘Letters’ is a sort of signature song by default as it’s the first track of Kelly Erez that the world heard and it’s delivered with aplomb tonight and it sounds even better than the recorded version. Without an announcement Erez just starts singing the acapella solo intro and the band fall in behind her. Sheer class.

With sincere ‘thank you’s’ the last song of the night is introduced and ‘We Got It All’ (you will know it if you are on the ticket holders mailing list) gets underway with a rhythmic piano into only to burst into a powerful rock chorus along with a big dirty guitar! It’s actually (emotionally) powerful stuff reaching highs and lows very dramatically and Erez waving and holding the mic stand like a full on rocker and then transforming into soul-mode as the song ‘turned delicate’, leaving the crowd with goose bumps.

Yes, the crowd shouted for more. A cheeky ‘Hello again’ accompanies a friendly smile and we’re into ‘Sometimes’ a soulful way to finish the night that showcases Kelly’s voice.
Kelly Erez sang her heart out all night and took the audience with her on a journey. A journey that took in every emotion you can think of from the heart rendering moments of ‘Wiser’ to the blatant dance sensibilities of opener ‘Money Money’ and statements such as ‘Xtra’. And THE VOICE™. There can’t be a singer in the UK right now that has the emotionally rich and distinctive tone and sound of Kelly Erez. Kelly Erez is a star but I am not the first to say that…by a long way.”

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