Benny Sings —
Studio ... CD Jakarta (Germany), 2015. New Copy ...
Maybe the best album so far from Benny Sings – a lean, clean effort that's got a sound that's even more compact than before – but which suits Benny's vocals wonderfully! There's maybe a bit more electricity on the record this time around – and the style's got touches of 80s electro soul, but mixed with a warmer vibe that comes across really well – a mode in which Benny's never trying to push himself too much, but comes across with a sense of soul that's really great – this easygoing vibe that has him sliding along nicely with the gentle beats and keyboards. Titles include "Straight Lines", "My Favourite Game", "The Beach House", "Black & Blue", "Don't Make Me Dance", and "Shoebox Money", which also features Mayer Hawthorne. CD
Wonderful work from Ledisi – a singer we've dug for many many years – and who always lives up to our faith in her music! We first dug Ledisi as an underground talent back in the 90s – but with this Verve album she's poised to take on all the best that mainstream soul has to offer – hitting strongly with a sense of pride and power that we've never heard this clearly before! We're not saying that Ledisi's getting commercial – just that she's got this tight, powerful, rich quality to her music that is bound to finally push the singer out to the wide audience she really deserves – new ears to add to Ledisi's always-growing audience of fans from the farther reaches of the soul universe. Rex Rideout helped put the album together with Ledisi – with a respectful vibe that really opens the singer up – and tracks include "That Good Good", "Missy Doubt", "Lose Control", "88 Boxes", "Like This", "The Truth", "Anything", and "I Blame You". Deluxe edition features three bonus tracks – "Mine", "I Swear", and "Quick Fix". CD
We don't know how Naked Music does it, but they've managed again to come up with a soulful vocalist who's just right for their slinky groove! Lisa Shaw's got a voice that's a perfect fit for the mellow beats and jazzy keys that are part of the trademark Naked groove – a sound that's partly club, but which often has the deeper range of Neo Soul work – and which is a great link between worlds that rarely meet with results this strong. Jay Denes and Eric Stamile handle the grooves on the set – giving Lisa a nicely oozing sound throughout, especially on the catchier numbers – and titles include "Always", "Born To Fly", "Stylin", "Grown Apart", "Matter Of Time", "Push Button", "Hot Skin", and "Don't Know What To Do". CD
Wonderful solo work from Tony Momrelle – a singer you may know from his tremendous contributions to Incognito and Reel People over the years, and a hell of a soul artist on his own! Tony may well be one of the UK's best male soul singers these days – and he steps forth beautifully here on a set of tracks that are couched in all the warm tones of his best work with Incognito, with lots of jazzy touches in the instrumentation, and a rock-solid groove in the rhythms! Momrelle soars out wonderfully on his vocals – with a style that's somewhere in the Stevie Wonder side of the spectrum, but also very much Tony's own, too – instantly classic, on titles that include "It's Real", "Back Together Again", "Pick Me Up", "It's Real", "A Million Ways", "All The Things You Are", "Different Street", and "Keep Pushing", which features a guest appearance by Talib Kweli. CD
We haven't heard from Shaun Escoffery in years – but damn, it's really been worth the wait! This album really knocks it out of the park from the very first note – and pushes Shaun way way farther than his previous work, which we really loved a lot – into some kind of sublime classic soul territory that may hopefully get him the international fame he deserves! Escoffery's got this great back to basics approach on the record – still schooled by his more cosmic years on the London scene, but also soaking up plenty of older, deeper soul elements too – yet fusing them in a way that's completely modern, completely fresh, and very individual. There's nothing retro soul about the record – despite some burning Hammond and guitar at points – and the whole thing was done in close collaboration with producer Gil Cang, who also played most of the instruments and helped on backing vocals too. Titles include "Nature's Call", "Perfect Love Affair", "People", "Do U Remember", "Crazy", "Nobody Knows", "By Your Side", "Get Over", and "Day After Day". CD