Flo'Ology

Studio Album by released in 2005

Flo'Ology review

Floetry prove themselves to be true pioneers in their field

The impossibly talented British female hip-hop/neo-soul duo Floetry – singer/songwriter Marsha "The Songstress" Ambrosius and MC/songwriter Natalie "The Floacist" Stewart – have written for the likes of Jill Scott, Jazz of Dru Hill, Glenn Lewis, Bilal and Michael Jackson. Floetry possess a sound that pretty much represents all the contemporary soul sisters around right now – the fresh tones of Alicia Keys, the soul of Mary J. Blige and the presence of Erica Badu. It's more than the passionate vocals of Ambrosius and elegant spoken word of Stewart that has fans captivated everywhere since Floetry first stepped on stage. The dynamic duo's incredible success is deeply rooted in their ability to appeal to all ages, races and genres of music lovers. With six Grammy nods, six Soul Train awards, impressionable performances and endless live shows, the ladies of Floetry prove themselves to be true pioneers in their field. Now they are back with their second studio album Flo'Ology, filled with their own brand of smooth, sexy R&B. This time, Marsha Ambrosius and Natalie Stewart remain true to form by uniting great vocals and spoken word with the rhythms of classic soul, funk and a little bit of island spice.

Ambrosius’ light-as-air voice is balanced by Stewart’s spoken-word finesse

Not keen to embrace the dreaded sophomore slump, Floetry have produced a mind-blowing album that has them stepping up their soul game once again. Their first single, SupaStar (featuring Common) gleams with confidence and adds to the album's underlying theme of love and self-reflection. It has a light, fun feel to it. The beat goes on in Scott Storch-produced My Apology, an uptempo track of karmic retribution that illustrates the redemption found in admitting your faults. About midway through the album, things start to slow down. Lay Down is a nice slow jam complete with strings and great production. Sometimes U Make Me Smile is one of the best songs on the album. It takes its time (it's over six minutes long) and glides over lush arrangements and excellent vocals. Without a doubt, Ambrosius harmonious, light-as-air voice mesmerizes track after track. She invokes such emotion in songs like the jazzy Let Me In and poignant Imagination. Her elegant prowess is balanced by Stewart's spoken-word finesse. Her rippling words ride on the waves of the beats and captivate best on track I'll Die. When they're not in the seductive mood, these British girls sketch out the trivialities of modern day relationships with plenty of style and class.

“Songstress” and “Floacist” deliver a well-balanced album of mid-tempo jams

Prolific as any lyricist and expressive as some of R&B's best, the duo’s soulful evolution is one that is unmatched. As they continue to grow, their albums float above the plainness of R&B and steer the direction of soul. Upholding the expectations of critics and fans is very difficult, but Floetry makes it seem unbelievably easy. Schooling us on their unique sound, the London-based “Songstress” and “Floacist” deliver a well-balanced album of mid-tempo jams, spoken-word flair and authentic soul. Their debut, Floetic, garnered them six Grammy nominations and added an exceptional (and much needed) brand of singer/songwriter spice to the R&B world. Floacism served as a delightful live album and was nothing but a satisfying buffer to this sophomore disc. With double the emotional panache, Flo'Ology is just as good, if not better, than their first. If you're looking for something apart from the flurry of hip-hop-tinged R&B wannabe divas, you will enjoy Flo'Ology. It is a great representation of the neo-soul movement.