Regional Beat: Anita Keys

Twenty Twelve (self-released)

anitakeys.com

On her new album, singer-songwriter Anita Keys showcases her husky vocals and skills on the piano right from the start with the catchy "Song in the Head." While many of the tunes are about breakups, Keys doesn't just sing about getting her heart broken (though she explicitly references romantic love in "Fallin' Again"); she takes on more esoteric topics too. The album has a very mellow tone and happy-go-lucky vibe as Keys relies upon percussion and horns for her up-tempo approach. "Butterflies" stands out thanks to her soft singing and a sharp saxophone solo by guest Reggie Redd. Ultimately, Keys makes a solid attempt here to mix pop with a bit of jazz.

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