Judith Hill wowed me with her amazing performances on January's David Bowie Celebration concert. I hadn't realized at the time that Hill was a Prince protege. I guess that doesn't mean much in the scheme of things. Prince has had many forgotten proteges. But Hill stood out in a crowd of terrific singers with her renditions of "Lady Stardust" and "Under Pressure," the latter as a duet with Andra Day. So much so, I wanted more.
Her new release "Baby I'm Hollywood" came out the same day of the Bowie concert and there is a lot to like. You can hear the inspiration of her old boss on the very Prince-like trio of "God Bless The Mechanic," "You Got The Right Thang" and "Burn It All." The title track sounds a lot like 80's Aretha in a good way. And I guess, "Give Your Love To Someone Else" wouldn't have been out of place on Prince's "Sign O The Times.
Judith Hill wrote the entire record, as well as handling horn arrangements, string arrangements and production. Her voice never tries too hard. There are few, if any annoying melismatics. Hill's voice is pure and can go from Chaka funk to Roberta Flack dreamy in the blink of an eye.
There is a lot to love on "Baby I'm Hollywood." Maybe too much. According to iTunes, the album runs one minute over an hour. That's 2.1 early Beatles albums or for you kids, the opening credits of a Judd Apatow movie.
I'm just thrilled to not be disappointed by a lack of material, which is my broken record complaint. "No songs!" No record making!" This record is full of great songs and great record making.
Check it out.