Interlude 1: Grains
Label: Universal Records
India.Arie's fourth album continues to approach the balance she's always seeking. A great interpreter of love songs, Arie's irresistibly drawn to politics (or, more accurately, the injustices that pervade our world). And yet, for all her clear-eyed appraisal of man's inhumanity to man, she can't suppress her natural gratitude and joy in the simple pleasures of existence. It's a difficult balancing act, but a stellar collaborating cast helps her (for the most part) strike it: Keb' Mo', Musiq Soulchild, and even Turkish star Sezen Aksu make these songs ring with sincerity and rootsy soul.