This Is Who I Am

A compelling voice able to convey a rainbow of emotions.

A compelling voice able to convey a rainbow of emotions. An ear-arresting collection of songs—produced by Dallas Austin, Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, and Shep Crawford, among others—that embrace the artist's R&B, gospel, pop, and reggae influences. That's what you get on singer/songwriter Heather Headley's debut album. Best known for her Broadway runs with The Lion King and Elton John's Aida, the Tony Award-winning Headley trades one stage for another and—in showbiz lingo—breaks a leg. She kicks things off to a rousing start with the joyful, gospel-flavored ode to the opposite sex, "He Is." Then she effortlessly downshifts to under-your-skin ballad mode on "Four Words From a Heartbreak" and "Always Been Your Girl" (backed by sister-in-soul Deborah Cox). Headley exhibits an unerring knack for choosing storyteller songs ("Sista Girl") around which to wrap her full-bodied voice—offering a welcome oasis in a desert of sameness.—GM
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