In listening to the new Julie Dexter project New Again I was struck by the fact that this is not background music. What I mean by that statement is that often music s experienced in a supplemental way, but this is one of those recordings where it would be very difficult just press play and occupy yourself with some other activity. New Again is the activity. Both music and lyrics are on equal footing here and the warmth of organic creative expression is the order of the day here.

The genre here is clearly music, the sound of an artist and production team(Julie and Chicago’s own Producer/DJ Steve “Miggedy” Maestro) who have tasted from many wells from around the world, not just around the block. There is a pulse that runs through the entire project that reinforces how vast and intimate this world is. Vast in the sense that you can point to the distance between the points of origin on a map but intimate in the sense that rhythm, that beat, that pulse is as familiar as your mother’s voice.

Standout tracks for this reviewer are: “Love 2 Love” which has a feel similar to the Leon Ware penned classic “I Wanna Be Where You Are” and a few riffs reminiscent of the outro of “All This Love” two of my favorite recordings of all time and interestingly all three tracks incorporate flashes of Bossa Nova melded with Soul. “I Can Make You Dance” no false advertising here, this is boogie or rideout music at it’s best. It just feels good. The poignant “Melanin (Beautiful People)” this is wakeup music, start your day type music, face the world with some ammunition of self-love type music.

Highly recommend for fans of the listening experience. New Again out now!

Ivan Orr is a multi-instrumentalist, composer, performer, and writer. A native of Charlottesville, Virginia Ivan was involved with the forming and nascent days of The Music Resource Center as its first Program Director. A graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University’s Department of Music, Ivan currently resides in Richmond, VA where he maintains an active performance and production schedule while serving as the Music Editor for Grown Folks Music, a position he has held since 2010.