Fans of Prince know Rhonda Smith as a crucial part of the “New Power Generation” rhythm section (arguably, one of the funkiest and hardest hitting of Prince’s lineups!). Rhonda takes everything from the Prince school of production, writing and playing and makes it her own (just read the instrument credits.. she plays keys, often with multiple layers of bass tracks and laid all of the beautiful vocal tracks). This is not the CD release of a “sideman” (“side-person”?).
The writing is very strong, song oriented and soulful. My favorite thing about this album at first listen is her tone (man…. thick, round and articulate. Just the right amount of piano like clarity but still gritty and nasty). This is one beautifully recorded and produced album (not too much, tho!). I hear a beautiful marriage of Prince, Larry Graham and Marcus Miller in her playing. The entire disc is a musical journey and her playing is very tasty and impressive but always about the groove and making the head nod. Wonderful work!