San Jose, CA, June 19, 2011–Tracy Cruz represents what a soul singer in 2011 should be: soulful, introspective, progressive and hopeful. Tracy’s highly anticipated sophomore album Universoul Symphony is set to release on August 2. Not only does Tracy come bigger and harder in her vocal arrangements, her lyrics are lusciously laced, touching on nearly every topic at hand. At best, the 13-track disc provides just that; a universal memoir applicable to all ears complemented by a symphony, expressing that which words cannot. The mastermind behind the beautiful soundscapes is Tracy’s husband and producer, Allen Ross. The jazzy, heavy-hitting backdrop compliments Tracy perfectly and will have you reaching for the rewind button.
An electrifying live performer renowned for her signature vocal ability, Tracy Cruz’s Universoul Symphony promises to deliver a fantastically orchestral experience yet with a mainstay in R&B. As Tracy evades barriers, her improvisational experimentations give way to dramatic production. In tandem, the duo “free up” and traverse unchartered territories. The songstress cleverly sets out to teach life’s lessons and celebrate it all at once. Tracks like Electricity, Happy, Joyful Rain and Rise Above are prime examples of this technicolor collaboration (all of which are either written or co-written by Tracy).
Electricity is a song that will have trunks rattling and heads bobbing. Heavy bass, reminiscent of the intense, backs the high voltage emotional shock manifested by a first love. On a lighter yet celebratory track, Happy is comparable to Jill Scott’s Golden. With a memorable hook, the uplifting song is marked with an easy two-step tempo, summoning Soul Train at its best. Joyful Rain is a heartfelt ballad enriched with romantic lyrics similar to the poems of Rumi and graceful, orchestral sounds that will leave your heart dancing.
In today’s unjust world, there are justifiable reasons to be down-and-out. Nevertheless, Tracy declares, “We need to look at our blessings more than our problems.” The alluring thing about Tracy is that she always allows her emotions to guide her musical performance. Rise Above serves as the streaming hope, uniting people through struggle. In relation to Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On, this track injects a rebirth of hope. Tracy expresses, “It’s a despairing time for our world. We need to start coming together and helping each other out.” The uncomplicated nature of the song is an elegant juxtaposition to the complexity of the world ‘out there.’ With simplistic chords and a melody we can all sing to, we’re reminded to disengage from political paranoia, to just kick back and listen.
All in all, Universoul Symphony is a unified, concept album consisting of overtures, full tracks, and interludes, most of which lead into the next. It’s intended to be experienced as an entire collection, like that of an epic story. It can be categorized as a continuation of Tracy’s debut album Feel’osophy since Universoul Symphony ends on a reprise of a pastime, except Tracy is up to something new here, reincarnating the same message she’s always delivered but in retrofitted attire. Ranier Simons of Nu-Soul Magazine commented, “Tracy serves up a seasoned musical meal as if she has multiple albums under her belt. The chemistry between her smooth rich voice and the full production of the musical arrangements is explosive.” Let’s just say: if the debut album was the appetizer, Universoul Symphony will serve up the buffet. And please believe, “It’s gon’ be butta.”
Album available on iTunes and from www.tracycruz.com