Although she was not a music celebrity from the very start, Tia Fuller has risen from the background as a backup singer for Beyonce Knowles to the forefront of the stage, proving that she can be a unique and profitable singer, songwriter and artist. With her newest album, Decisive Steps, which was released in March of 2010, Fuller has added to the already illustrious appeal of American Jazz. However, while still maintaining the classic characteristics of jazz, such as the incorporation of the saxophone and other horns in her album, she also offers a great deal of diversity due to her unique tempos and rhythmic beats. Of the album’s ten tracks, the song “Decisive Steps” is the star in the album.
The track begins with gentle beats that symbolize classic jazz yet the melody of Fuller’s voice hints towards a genre of music that is much more fast paced, such as hip hop or rap. However, despite this unusual beginning to the album’s headline song, the jazz qualities are unmistakable and thus, the listening is swarmed by the calming, relaxing sounds that jazz is notorious for. While the song “Decisive Steps” particularly specializes in smooth beats and softly sung lyrics, there are other styles and variations of the album that, while they may not sound like jazz, are in fact works of musical masterpiece.
In almost direct contrast to “Decisive Steps,” the sixth song in the album, “Steppin’,” incorporates very different qualities to jazz music that probably would not be expected. For example, in this song, Fuller begins with powerful beats and a deep bass which gives the feel of a hip hop song (a characteristic probably derived from her time working with Beyonce Knowles). However, after this burst of new ideas and innovation to the jazz world, Fuller gently and seamlessly brings the song back to the very basics of jazz: horns, bluesy lyrics and soft tones.
Regardless of all of these benefits that Fuller delineates in her album, probably the most appealing quality of her songs is the deep and meaningful lyrics. The songs she writes often portray daily struggles that many average, middle-class people go through every day. This creates a far greater bond between her and her fans because her songs are relatable to them and it provides for some common ground between the two.
Unlike many artists of the modern music industry, Fuller actually cares about what her songs are saying and puts much thought heart, and soul into the creation of her albums. In fact, it is her musical brilliance, talent and creativity that have helped spark mass popularity of the Mark Avenue record label.
About Brad Parmerter:
Brad Parmerter has almost 20 years experience in the music and entertainment industry as a writer, programmer, and merchandiser. He has professionally interviewed and photographed such artists as: Rush, Metallica, Celine Dion, Live, Phil Collins, Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Live, Van Halen, Queensryche, Anna Nalick, Styx, Def Leppard, and many more.
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