Dee C Lee - Just Something - New LP

Dee C Lee - Just Something - New LP

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Format: New LP Label: Acid Jazz Cat. No. AJXLP735 Barcode: Released: 22/03/2023

Following the recent release of Dee C Lee’s latest single, Walk Away, Acid Jazz Records release Just Something, Dee’s first album since 1998.

Just Something features eleven songs: nine originals co-written by Dee, a song penned by her daughter Leah Weller, a successful singer, songwriter in her own right, and two inspired covers. Produced by Sir Tristan Longworth, the album is a soulful collection with an easy-going vibe that frames the instantly recognisable vocals of one of the finest and most in-demand British soul singers of her generation - the writer and performer of Top three single ‘See The Day’, and former member of The Style Council, Slam Slam, Wham! and Animal Nightlife - in luxurious horns, percussion and keys, and heritage soul with a disco backdrop.

Inspired by classic Motown, single Walk Away was written by Dee with one of her ‘brothers from another mother’, former fellow Style Councillor Mick Talbot, and features Talbot’s distinctive piano and Wulitzer playing on the track. Talbot also plays on another of the album’s many standouts, the Leah Weller-penned ‘Everyday Summer’.

Three of the album’s songs, opener Back In Time, first single Don’t Forget About Love and How To Love were co-written with Michael McEvoy and Ernest McKone, whom Dee wrote with back in the 1980s. All three songs channel her musical past, from the thrill and excitement of those early Wham! days, going out and partying, to The Style Council’s trademark jazzy soul, and expressive balladary and killer choruses, which places Lee in the lineage of classic soul singers.

Elsewhere, on Anything, co-written with Paul Barry, Dee sings her heart out on a song full of optimism and hope for the future, while ‘For Once In My Life’  (the oldest song here dating back to 1998) has hit written all over it, with Lee empowered and regal sounding over a warm blanket of bassy funk.

The album’s two covers, meanwhile, were both suggested to Lee by Acid Jazz’s Eddie Piller. In Lee’s hands, Renee Geyer’s Be There In The Morning is pure celebration, taking its cue from the Norman Connors version from 1979. I Love You, written by Don Blackman and recorded by Weldon Irvine in 1976, could have been written with Lee in mind. A big club tune, Dee recalls hearing it everywhere she went and I wanted to keep as close to the original vibe as she could.

While the writing and recording of the album was a collaborative process, Just Something is nevertheless the sound of a singer in charge of her own style and direction and throughout her vocal delivery and phrasing steal the show, bright and lilting one moment, passionate and ringing the next. She cites Chaka Khan and Jean Carn as major influences, but Lee’s voice is resolutely her own, the product of a life lived.