A Poem About Ms. Doss

An embarrassment of riches isn't a phrase generally associated with today's music.

An embarrassment of riches isn't a phrase generally associated with today's music. One exception: the next-generation R&B emanating from the likes of Erykah Badu, Jill Scott, India.Arie, Alicia Keys, Tweet, and Angie Stone. Well, make room for this strong contender from the indie ranks. Moonlighting from her day job as a special education teacher, the Cleveland native applies lyrically rich life and love lessons to a mixture of R&B, funk, jazz, and pop music on this very fine debut. Doss does conjure such peers as Scott—especially on the set's percolating single, "Coffee." However, the honey-voiced singer/songwriter comes into her own on other cuts, most notably "You Really Hurt Me" (creatively interpolating Curtis Mayfield's "Give Me Your Love"), the engaging "All Because of You," and "Heaven" ("better than love, we make heaven"). Primarily produced by Edwin "Tony" Nicholas (Joe, Patti LaBelle), the album offers up a promising talent. And, as Doss notes on "Feelin' You," listeners "will not regret what [she's] got planned for you." Contact 216-751-6225.—GM