Embracing the essence of soul, Pearl Cutten‘s album, Fragments of My Soul, left a mark on my musical senses. Rooted in UK soul traditions, it is expertly composed, irresistibly groovy, and consistently captivating. Her voice, reminiscent of Eartha Kitt, possesses a signature quality that demands attention, though it may take some time to fully embrace. The unique tone and timbre of her vocals give this album a distinctive charm, even if it occasionally lacks vocal clarity.
The album opens with the warm and mellow ballad, ‘As I Am,’ providing an intimate glimpse into her life, with the declaration: ‘Take me as I am.’
‘Alright‘ is a standout track, delivering an uplifting message carried by a steady tempo that lingers in memory long after the song ends. On the pop/soul track ‘Lies’ her use of spoken vocals doesn’t sound out of date here either, reminding me of Grace Jones. Every element, from the background harmonies to the bass notes, harmoniously blends together.
The pacy track, ‘Change‘ reveals another facet of Pearl’s talent. Her vocals are robust and defiant, and the lyrics convey a sense of empowerment. The dynamic shifts within each song ensure that it maintains its grip on the listener. The lyrics are thoughtful and often uplifting, while the production quality ensures the music never becomes tiresome.
The album’s musicality is truly exceptional. Her storytelling is honest, heartwarming, and irresistible, particularly in tracks like ‘I Wanna Know‘ and ‘Scar.’
This album can be repeated, enveloping you in soul all day long. It’s a cohesive album that seamlessly blends various elements, even when Pearl introduces her rock side in ‘The Pain in You,’ it infuses the album with the energy it needs, all brilliantly structured.
‘You Bring Me Love‘ stands out among my favourites. It invokes nostalgia and conjures memories of childhood, with my West-Indian parents listening to sentimental music—a testament to this tracks’ timeless appeal. A song for lovers, the guitar solo is just one example of the meticulous details that create satisfying dynamics to this gem.
If you’re looking to play one song loud, make it ‘Play This is My Fire.’ Could it be this sweetly grooved single is another of my favourites? Absolutely. This Scandi soul party starter doesn’t disappoint, except for its somewhat abrupt ending.
Fragments of My Soul will take you by surprise, just like it did for me. This album is a pure joy, a musical journey that leaves no stone unturned. Denmark has a queen in their midst, and every part of her is made from soul.
Fragments of My Soul - Pearl Cutten
A soulful surprise. Her unique voice and exceptional musicality create an engaging and cohesive album that's a joy from start to finish.