When India.Arie first debuted her music to the world on 2001's Acoustic Soul, she was seen as a welcome change within the music industry. Existing slightly inside of the neo-soul box but far away from the pillow-talk R&B of the time, Arie's songs spoke of black love and self-love in a way that touched consumers young and old enough to eventually take the album triple platinum. The Denver native, who spent much of her adolescence in Atlanta, is a talented vocalist and guitarist who writes most of her own songs. Her latest disc, Testimony: Vol. 2: Love & Politics, hit stores in February, and while it doesn't have a single on it as catchy as "Brown Skin" or "I Am Not My Hair," "Chocolate High" (featuring Musiq Soulchild) is a jazzy, modern-soul hit. Other jams on the album include "Therapy," with Gramps of reggae group Morgan Heritage, and "Better Way," featuring bluesman Keb' Mo'. Anyone who likes hard-hitting R&B and soul — hold the cheesy baby-come-hither lyrics — will approve.


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