Editors' pick

Goapele

Rhythm and Blues
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Editorial Review

When Goapele, the Bay Area's sunny soul ingenue, visits D.C., she usually packs fans into larger rooms like the Black Cat and Birchmere. Sunday's show, though, will be an intimate experience suited to her sweet vocals. After years of languid grooves and issue-focused lyrics, Goapele is embracing her sultry side more on her upcoming album, "Milk & Honey." Even when she's flirting with the mainstream, there's substance in her distinctive, delicate timbre that differentiates her from more popular R&B singers. Her ballads retain the emotion that pegged her as one to watch when she first emerged in 2001 at the height of the neo-soul scene's popularity.

--Rhome Anderson (Dec. 2009)