Victoria Wilson-James emerged last year as a lead singer on Soul II Soul’s second album, A New Decade. Now, on her solo debut, Perseverance, she remains in the shadow of Soul II Soul’s producer, Jazzie B, who also handled this record. Except on the funky, determined single ”Through,” Wilson-James dresses up Soul II Soul’s down-tempo beats and messages of unity with a more refined, chic vocal style. She stretches her agile voice over delicate tunes, then waxes philosophical over airy, jazzlike instrumentals full of keyboards, violins, flute, and soft- popping beats. Despite the elegant veneer, you only get hints of the fierce woman who may well be behind the angelic voice. The record is nice enough, but it sounds too much like a Soul II Soul album and not enough like a Wilson-James album. B

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