EMI - 2004 - 55 minutes

Following 2002's 'Who I Am', Britain's Beverley Knight strengthens her identity with the aptly titled 'Affirmation'. Here, Knight shows the depth of her ability.

The song writing is top notch with Knight's own talents pooled with those of Guy Chambers, among others. Songs like 'Come As You Are' and 'No One Ever Loves in Vain' are typical of the quality of lyrics on this collection. Knight's range extends from the heartfelt emotional ballad to the self-assured pop song and each is a pleasure to listen to.

Her musical style varies from soul and R&B to rock, giving her a broad appeal. The main themes of the album - love, self discovery and understanding - are also sure to find favour with her audience.

For the most part, Knight stays away from the annoying vocal acrobatics that some of her contemporaries can't seem to do without and 'Affirmation' is so much better because of it. Knight's work lacks pretentiousness, making it instead a confident and mature offering.

Katie Moten

Tracklisting: Come As You Are - Not Too Late for Love - First Time - Straight Jacket - Keep This Fire Burning - No One Ever Loves in Vain - Affirmation - Supasonic - Tea & Sympathy - Below My Radar - Under the Same Sun - Till I See Ya - Salvador - Remember Me - Fatal Factor (bonus track)