2002 House Music
Music Review | Amber: Naked



From 2002
Written by Kage Allen



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__2002 House Music
In this day and age of music artists who release one seriously hyped album and then are never heard from again, releasing a second and third album is definitely testament to the artist's talent and appeal. Amber describes a great many things about her life and career as blessed and she's right. While her first two albums delivered some solid dance floor hits, it was the artist herself who drew people to her with her openness, honesty and love for what she does. With the release of her 2002 house music album "Naked" (iTunes.com), we find Amber crafting an album entirely of her own making.

"Yes!" is the first cut on the disc and was also the first single released from it. With its radio and club friendly beat, "Yes!" scored her a solid hit on the dance charts, but also took dance to a new level. While its lyrics were immediately chalked up as sexually charged, they were inspired by James Joyce's "Ulysses" and actually more artistic than

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2002 House Music
suggestive. The same can be said for the second track and current single, "The Need To Be Naked". Instead of being about sex, it's actually about opening up to one's lover and baring one's soul. It's also another fantastic dance track!

"Anyway (Men Are From Mars)" deals with her recent divorce and the differences she saw between herself and her ex-husband while "You're Sent From Heaven" changes the beat and pace and allows Amber an opportunity tostretch vocally. "Dirty Thoughts" isn't what it first seems to be about at all either. We're not talking sexuality again here so much as dealing with negativity and the track is both lyrically and vocally catchy, one of my favorites on the album. I don't know who "He" is about, though I do have a guess or two, but it does add to the overall flavor and diversity of the album.

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"Sex Without Sex" is another one of those songs that will come across as a diva-in-heat little number, but it once again follows the overall theme of deeply connecting with someone we love. If only more people embraced this idea. Things slow down a bit with "Love On You" and Amber croons about taking the day off with her lover, leaving the phone off the hook and just getting to know each other. How often have we wanted to do the very same thing? How many of us take the time to do just that? One of two big surprises on the album for me is the next track, "If There Would Be No Tomorrow". It's thought provoking in its lyrics, features a great dance beat and also has some powerful vocals. This is sure to be an audience pleaser during a live show.

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2002 House Music
Amber's mother adds to the album with the wonderfully upbeat "Heavenly Proximity" while "Sex And The City" (iTunes.com) is an offering to the HBO show that has played one of her tunes at the end of the third season and allowed her to record another song for its soundtrack. Karma works, people. "Don't Say Goodbye" slows the pace down again, but rather than just fill up space, it allows Amber to show off the strength of her voice. As if that wasn't enough, the other big surprise (the biggest surprise, that is) on the album is the final original track titled "The Smile of My Child", which she wrote for her son. If there was ever any doubt that Amber is more than a dance artist, this will put those misgivings to rest. It's a gorgeous song and the features the best vocals on "Naked". Rounding off the album are two mixes; "Sexual (Li Da Di) (Afterlife Chillout Remix)" and "The Need To Be Naked (Thunderpuss Mix)".

Amber wanted to do things her way this round and succeeds on every count. There are enough dance friendly tracks to satisfy the radio and clubs and enough artistry in the lyrics and diversity in the other songs to satisfy the singer herself. We are really given a glimpse into her world, though we might not figure it out right away. Just like the artist, though, if you take the time to look and listen, you'll learn and really enjoy what you discover.



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