Water to Wine
Reviewed by Thomas Fawcett, Fri., Feb. 13, 2009
NakiaWater to Wine
The debut full-length from Nakia proves the Appalachian-born belter one of Austin's most talented singers. Booming, deeply soulful, and accented with the occasional twang, his pipes propel an impressive set of Allmans-inspired Southern gospel-rock. Nakia has a penchant for big ballads with a flair for flourish, the self-penned title track crescendoing into a massive finale, while "All Over You" climaxes in an explosion of rhythmic pounding, power chords, and soul shouting. Half of Water to Wine is written by Michael Fracasso, who also adds backup vocals, keyboards, and acoustic guitar; the poignant anti-prejudice anthem "There Goes the Neighborhood" hits all the right notes, "Elizabeth Lee" adds a dose of dirty Delta blues, and "Choose Your Poison" spikes a dash of New Orleans piano boogie. Nakia's own writing whistles "On the Bus," which rings true to anyone who hops on the Cap Metro every morning.