Some Othaness for U

You've heard the voice before. Karen Bernod has sung with such talents as D'Angelo, Erykah Badu, Luther Vandross, C+C Music Factory, and Incognito.

You've heard the voice before. Karen Bernod has sung with such talents as D'Angelo, Erykah Badu, Luther Vandross, C+C Music Factory, and Incognito. With this stellar independent debut, she may join the pantheon of background singers who rightfully command a solo spotlight. Her velvety vocals blend perfectly with her chief musical ingredients: soul, jazz, and blues—with a dash of hip-hop and trip-hop. The resulting mélange is a simmering, intoxicating brew in which no one element dominates, allowing the listener to fully savor Bernod's "othaness." Whether it's respect for black men in the haunting "Endangered Species" (inspired by Tupac's death), relaxing and enjoying life as on "Chillin' on the DL," or engaging in self-introspection via "Spirit," Bernod captures the essence of such '70s singers as Roberta Flack, Dee Dee Sharp Gamble, and Zulema, while fashioning her own groove-honed style. In the end, she proves there's definitely room for one more on the neo-soul train. Contact: 212-802-8613.—GM