Nine-time Grammy®Award winner Natalie Cole is poised to release her 20th studio album on September 26th, marking an impressive milestone that speaks to her musicianship, her critically acclaimed abilities as a vocalist and her connection to her fans. Leavin’ also marks her first album of new material in nearly four years, a recording that returns Natalie to her musical roots as one of our time’s best r&b/pop vocalists. The Verve Records release finds the acclaimed chanteuse, who has sold more than 30 million albums, working with Grammy ® Award winning producer Dallas Austin, a combination which has produced one of Natalie’s most dynamic recordings to date.
An eclectic mix of classic pop, r&b and rock tracks, the 12-song album mixes Natalie’s stunning vocals with a list of classic songs from the likes of Fiona Apple, Aretha Franklin, Kate Bush, Sting, Shelby Lynne and others, as well as a new song, “5 Minutes Away,” a writing collaboration between Cole, Austin and keyboardist Chanz Parkman.
"Leavin’ represents a musical freedom that has given me the opportunity to explore the greatness in the songs of some of our most talented and gifted songwriters,” said Natalie. "It was a lot of fun to be able to put our spin on these songs and I thoroughly enjoyed interpreting them. Dallas was absolutely brilliant in the studio and together I think we were able to present a fresh new twist on some great music. I can’t wait for our fans to hear the album.”
The launch of the CD will be led by a remake of the 1972 #1 Billboard R&B single, the Aretha Franklin smash "Day Dreaming." Updated with a bit of hip-hop flavor, the song is the first single from the album and marks the release of Natalie’s first urban/pop single in nearly 16 years. Ironically, Natalie spent much of the early part of her career being compared to Franklin.
Natalie took some unexpected creative turns on Leavin.' The title track is a soulful recast of the Shelby Lynne song from her Grammy® winning 2000 release I Am Shelby Lynne. She also tackles a rock standard by taking on Neil Young's "Old Man," an eloquent compliment to the original that shows the warmth and subtlety of Natalie’s voice.
Then there’s the Fiona Apple hit "Criminal," which Natalie and Austin gave a bluesy feel, as well as “The More You Do It,” a track that pays homage to her first husband and musical collaborator, the late producer Marvin Yancy. The track completes a trio of more soulful cuts including the Isley Brothers "Don't Say Goodnight" and the Etta James inspired "Lovin' Arms," each of which grants Natalie the opportunity to move back to her 70's roots with rich, shimmering vocals. Other highlights include remakes of songs written and made famous by Sting and Kate Bush.
The record is set to be launched with performances on a number of major morning and late night television programs and Natalie is expected to introduce the record via several intimate showcases. These outings are expected to be followed by a theater tour planned for late fall.