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Album Review

Dwight & Nicole, '!Signs'

February 1, 2010

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Having become Boston favorites in recent years, Dwight & Nicole are a refreshingly honest act that moves from R&B to silky soul, with hints of rock, gospel, and swampy blues. The music is diverse, but it all fits seamlessly on this strong new disc. It’s a tour de force that demands much wider success. Linked professionally and personally, Dwight & Nicole recorded this CD in Milt Reder’s Brookline-based Rear Window studio, using Boston aces Marty Ballou (bass), Tom West (keyboards), and the Aruda brothers (horns). The album starts a bit awkwardly with two tracks whose lyrics are hard to follow, but then starts to soar. Standouts include the poignant “Caribbean Song’’ (penned by Nicole about her family’s roots in Trinidad), the spicy “Overblown’’ (with Dwight urging “loosen your tie, get yourself high’’), and the hard-driving “Find What You’ve Been Looking For’’ as the duo adds heavenly harmonies. Dwight & Nicole refined these songs during a residency at Atwood’s in Cambridge in November - and they clearly were not working in vain. (Out Friday at www.dwightandnicole.com)

STEVE MORSE

R&B
Dwight & Nicole !Signs
Self-released
ESSENTIAL “Caribbean Song’’
Dwight & Nicole play a CD-release show at the Somerville Theatre on Friday, with Will Dailey and Tim Gearan opening.