Up and coming songstress Shelita Burke, best known as SHELITA delivers a breathtaking blend of straightforward pop, clubby beats and exotic R&B textures in her self-titled debut, which is garnering a lot of attention in the American underground at the moment (to put it mildly). Songs like “Religion!,” “Penetrate!,” and “Together!” present listeners with a melodic fusion of white-hot rhythms and self-aware rhymes that were made for the summer season, but beyond their polished cosmetics, every track here offers us an excellent depiction of what this stunningly talented singer is capable of delivering in the studio. To put it simply, SHELITA is a powerfully evocative release.
“Libations!,” the sexy “Tango!,” brooding “Special!” and monolithically stylish “Power!” have quite the experimental framework, but, they don’t feel particularly inaccessible to mainstream audiences at all. On the contrary, even when she’s getting eccentric with the construction of the beats – in “Save!” for example – SHELITA keeps her sultry lead vocal as the centerpiece amidst all of the swaggering percussive blows and designer synth melodies. You could definitely categorize her approach as alternative in nature, but I would stop short of comparing her sound to the surreal indie pop style that has become increasingly popular . SHELITA has her own unique style.
Some of the songs here, like “Together!,” “Live!” and “Religion!,” are stately, multilayered and cinematically engaging, while others like “Penetrate!” and “Special!” sound deliberately simplistic and adherent to the minimalist pop model. The combination isn’t as conflicting as one might assume it would be; to be honest, I found the diversity of this tracklist to be one of its most intoxicating and unique attributes. SHELITA’s music highlights her creative parameter.
SHELITA is a force to be reckoned with it’s easily one of the more moving pop records that I’ve had the pleasure of sampling from this summer. Here we’re formally introduced to a vocalist that isn’t shy about pushing the compositional envelope as far as she can whilst utilizing every bit of space that a master mix will afford her material in making big, eroticized hooks the star of the show. I’m excited to hear more from her as she continues to develop her sound and work on a follow-up to this debut, but for now, she’s set the bar exceptionally high for her peers this summer.