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The best of the contemporary soul underground -- artists we know and love, and are proud to support!




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Possible matches: 9
Possible matches1
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ BilalIn Another Life ... CD
E One, 2015. New Copy ... $15.99 17.98
Bilal gets some amazing help this time around from super-hip producer Adrian Younge – who really helps the singer reinvent his sound! The album's got a funky depth we've never heard from Bilal before – lots of those old school, 70s-styled soundtrack funk touches that Younge's so great at – which provide this rich backdrop for Bilal's wonderful vocals – and a setting that has us loving the singer more than we have in years! Adrian also brings in some more contemporary elements as well, creating a trans-historical palette of sounds that live up to Bilal's time-traveling image on the back cover. The album's got a few key guest appearances – from Kendrick Lamar, Kimbra, and Big Krit – but the real genius comes from Bilal and Younge, who are a great team together. Titles include "Star Now", "Spiraling", "Bury Me Next To You", "Satellites", "Pleasure Toy", "Money Over Love", and "Holding It Back". CD

Possible matches2
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Foreign ExchangeTales From The Land Of Milk & Honey (colored vinyl) ... LP
HBD, 2015. New Copy 2LP ... $23.99 24.98
The deepest work yet from Foreign Exchange – and as hard as it is for us to believe, a record that unofficially kicks off the second decade of the one-time transatlantic partnership of Nicolay and Phonte – which has evolved into a bonafide indie soul supergroup with Zo!, Tamisha Waden and Carmen Rodgers! Tales From The Land Of Milk And Honey is as full of life as anything we've heard from them, and honestly, a record we'll be able to keep coming back to for years. On the production front, Nicolay has found a way to pay homage to the past half century of breezy soul and R&B, club grooves, bossa and more, and distill it all into a fairly tight sound that belongs to FE+. Phonte is as vocally charismatic on his cuts as ever, whether he's playing it straight, or just having a little bit of fun – like when he's affecting a British accent on "Asking For A Friend" – and the women's voices are never less than beautiful, on both the lead vocal turns and the hooks. Includes "Milk And Honey", "Work It To The Top", "Truce", "Disappear", "Sevenths And Ninths", "Asking ForA Friend", "Body", "As Fast As You Can", "Face In The Reflection" and "Until The Dawn (Milk And Honey Pt II)". LP, Vinyl record album
(Limited colored vinyl.)

Possible matches3
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
William KurkLegacy – A Tribute ... CD
William Kurk Productions, 2015. New Copy 2CD ... $19.99 25.99
William Kurk's always given us plenty of great music on his own – but this time around, he pays tribute to a host of classic talents in soul music – with performances of tracks by artists who include Harvey Mason, Leon Ware, Donald Fagan, Michael Jackson, Chick Corea, George Duke, Stevie Wonder, and Herbie Hancock! The sound is great overall – much richer than you might expect from the 8-bit videogame parody image on the cover – and, if anything, Kurk's even further developed his musical style out of respect for the legends on the record – working here with lots of great jazzy currents that really fit the tunes. Titles include "Lazy Nina", "Movin Out", "Secret Life Of Plants", "All The Same Tonight", "Your Eyes", "Love's Holiday", "Breakout", "Spiraling Prism", "Cool & Caressing", "Come Live With Me Angel", and "Through The Fire". CD

Possible matches4
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Monday Michiru & Toshiko AkioshiJazz Conversations – The Other Side Of Monday Michiru ... CD
Victor (Japan), 2015. New Copy ... $26.99
The other side of Monday Michiru – or, more appropriately, the early side of the great soul singer – given that her roots in jazz go very far back, to the time when she was the child of two very famous jazz musicians! This set has Monday reunited with her mother – the legendary pianist Toshiko Akioshi – who works exclusively on piano, in this wonderfully pointed, introspective style – while Monday both sings in a jazz style, and plays flute as well – an instrument she first used on record when she was about ten years old. The reunion is a wonderful one – and while Toshiko's every bit as great as you'd expect, we find ourselves falling in love with Monday even more than before – as her handling of the mellower material is beautiful, and opens up an even more deeply expressive side of her vocals than before. The record's got a bit of added bass and drums at points – and titles include "Frog", "Long Yellow Road", "First Night", "Love & Life", "New Girl In Town", "Broken Dreams", and "Ain't Gonna Ask No More". CD

Possible matches5
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Amy WinehouseAmy Winehouse Collection (Frank/Back To Black/Lioness/Live In London/Rarities) (8LP set) ... LP
Universal, 2000s. New Copy 8 LPs ... $139.99 199.98
Way more than just a box set of the key albums from the all-too-short career of Amy Winehouse – as this massive package also features a wealth of rarities and live tracks – most making their vinyl debut in this limited collection! The set leads off with Frank – the stunning debut from UK soul singer Amy Winehouse – a vocalist with a sound that's instantly captivating, and which will be with us for years! Amy's clearly cut her chops in jazz, but also has a laidback and soulful personality – easily shifting between modes for the right mood of each song, without any of the pretensions that would ruin an album like this. The backings have a proud stepping feel that fits well with tunes like "In My Bed", "What Is It About Men", "F*ck Me Pumps", and "You Sent Me Flying" – really keeping Amy's spirit fresh throughout the whole set! Next is Back to Black – an incredible album from Amy Winehouse – even way better than her fantastic debut! Although a contemporary soul album, this one's steeped in tradition – soul styles that run the gamut from Detroit down to Kingston, and which are carried off here with a rougher, sharper-edged sound than before! The instrumentation on here is really mindblowing – almost at a Motown level, with isolated instruments really crackling out from the fuller backings – all set to rhythms that snap and bounce, and are almost a bit funky at times. Credit is definitely due to producers Mark Ronson and Salaam Remi – but Amy's vocals are really tremendous too – classic, but really personal and fresh! Titles include "Rehab", "Just Friends", "Back To Black", "Love Is A Losing Game", "He Can Only Hold Her", "Some Unholy War", and "Me & Mr Jones". Next is Lioness Hidden Treasures – a (sadly) posthumous release from Amy Winehouse – a voice we loved for a couple good years before knowing how troubled she was in real life and now lament the loss of – and this set, largely put together by producer Salaam Remi turned out surprisingly well! It'd be pretty easy to bow to cynicism, but for our money, there's more than enough strong stuff here. It features production by Remi, plus Mark Ronson on a couple tracks, and it's a mix of styles that ably demonstrate Amy's depth as an interpreter. There's some great, kinda late night jazzy soul numbers, classic level 60s R&B and thoroughly modern hip hop soul – all with strong vocal performances from Amy. Includes "Our Day Will Come", "Between The Cheats", "Tears Dry (Original Version)", "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow (2011)", "Like Smoke" feat Nas (and some eerily timely lyricism, as of this album's release date), "Valerie ('68 Version)", "Half Time", "The Girl From Ipanema", "Half Time", "Body & Soul" with Tony Bennett, "A Song For You" and more. Next is the 2LP set Live In London – the vinyl debut of material from the DVD of the same name – with titles that incclude "Just Friends", "Cherry", "Back To Black", "Wake Up Alone", "Tears Dry On Their Own", "He Can Only Hold Her/Doo Wop (That Thing)", "Valerie", "Rehab", "Me & Mr Jones", "Monkey Man" and more. Last is the album Rarities – which features three tracks from BBC Sessions, four tracks from the iTunes festival in 2006, two tracks from Live At T In The Park in 2004, and a few more live tracks too! LP, Vinyl record album
(Limited numbered edition.)

Possible matches6
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Amy WinehouseLioness – Hidden Treasures (180 gram pressing) ... LP
Universal, 2011. New Copy 2LP Gatefold ... $27.99 34.98
A (sadly) posthumous release from Amy Winehouse – a voice we loved for a couple good years before knowing how troubled she was in real life and now lament the loss of – and this set, largely put together by producer Salaam Remi turned out surprisingly well! It'd be pretty easy to bow to cynicism, but for our money, there's more than enough strong stuff here. It features production by Remi, plus Mark Ronson on a couple tracks, and it's a mix of styles that ably demonstrate Amy's depth as an interpreter. There's some great, kinda late night jazzy soul numbers, classic level 60s R&B and thoroughly modern hip hop soul – all with strong vocal performances from Amy. Includes "Our Day Will Come", "Between The Cheats", "Tears Dry (Original Version)", "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow (2011)", "Like Smoke" feat Nas (and some eerily timely lyricism, as of this album's release date), "Valerie ('68 Version)", "Half Time", "The Girl From Ipanema", "Half Time", "Body & Soul" with Tony Bennett, "A Song For You" and more. LP, Vinyl record album

Possible matches7
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
AkikoVida ... CD
Verve (Japan), 2007. New Copy ... About March 10, 2016
A great new sound for Akiko – one that's heavy on Brazilian influences, and done in collaboration with Gira Mundo! There's plenty of tracks here that echo Gira Mundo's love of funky samba – with rootsy percussion and traditional Brazilian instrumentation bubbling under Akiko's warmer, smoother vocals – sung here in a style that's quite soulful, but also has a fair bit of jazz as well! Lyrics are both in English and Portguese – and the album's honestly one of the best we've heard in a long time from this lovely Japanese singer. Titles include "Batucada", "Breathing Life", "Meu Coracao", "Payaptra Turdi", "Chega De Saudade", "A Song For You", and "A Little Bruise". CD

Possible matches8
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ Foreign ExchangeTales From The Land Of Milk & Honey ... CD
HBD, 2015. New Copy ... Temporarily Out Of Stock
The deepest work yet from Foreign Exchange – and as hard as it is for us to believe, a record that unofficially kicks off the second decade of the one-time transatlantic partnership of Nicolay and Phonte – which has evolved into a bonafide indie soul supergroup with Zo!, Tamisha Waden and Carmen Rodgers! Tales From The Land Of Milk And Honey is as full of life as anything we've heard from them, and honestly, a record we'll be able to keep coming back to for years. On the production front, Nicolay has found a way to pay homage to the past half century of breezy soul and R&B, club grooves, bossa and more, and distill it all into a fairly tight sound that belongs to FE+. Phonte is as vocally charismatic on his cuts as ever, whether he's playing it straight, or just having a little bit of fun – like when he's affecting a British accent on "Asking For A Friend" – and the women's voices are never less than beautiful, on both the lead vocal turns and the hooks. Includes "Milk And Honey", "Work It To The Top", "Truce", "Disappear", "Sevenths And Ninths", "Asking ForA Friend", "Body", "As Fast As You Can", "Face In The Reflection" and "Until The Dawn (Milk And Honey Pt II)". CD
Also available Tales From The Land Of Milk & Honey (colored vinyl) ... LP 23.99

Possible matches9
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ BilalIn Another Life ... LP
BBE, 2015. New Copy 2LP Gatefold ... Out Of Stock
Bilal gets some amazing help this time around from super-hip producer Adrian Younge – who really helps the singer reinvent his sound! The album's got a funky depth we've never heard from Bilal before – lots of those old school, 70s-styled soundtrack funk touches that Younge's so great at – which provide this rich backdrop for Bilal's wonderful vocals – and a setting that has us loving the singer more than we have in years! Adrian also brings in some more contemporary elements as well, creating a trans-historical palette of sounds that live up to Bilal's time-traveling image on the back cover. The album's got a few key guest appearances – from Kendrick Lamar, Kimbra, and Big Krit – but the real genius comes from Bilal and Younge, who are a great team together. Titles include "Star Now", "Spiraling", "Bury Me Next To You", "Satellites", "Pleasure Toy", "Money Over Love", and "Holding It Back". LP, Vinyl record album
Also available In Another Life ... CD 15.99
 
Partial matches: 2
Partial matches10
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ Nao YoshiokaLight ... CD
Sweet Soul, 2015. New Copy ... $12.99 13.98
Contemporary funky soul, but with a deeper jazz vibe at times too – the kind of sounds that have made Nao Yoshioka a rising talent on the global scene in recent years! The singer has a Japanese name, but comes across with a really universal sense of soul – a sometimes crackle that can link her back to American greats of the 60s, but also a smooth ability to step into some of the warmer grooves on the record too. Backing is often by a small soulful combo, recorded in a St Louis studio – and a few tracks also features different instrumentation from sessions in Tokyo or The Netherlands, further adding to the global span of the record. Titles include a great remake of "Feeling Good" – plus "Certifiable", "At Last", "The Light", "Spend My Life", "Make The Change", and "I'm Not Perfect". CD features bonus tracks – "Make The Change (original version)" and "Ain't No Mountain High Enough (live)". CD

Partial matches11
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
✨✧ Roy Davis JrChicago Forever ... LP
Ubiquity, 2004. New Copy 2LP ... Out Of Stock
An instant classic from Roy Davis Jr – and a record that really takes us back to the deepest days of the Chicago house scene! Roy's tunes are simple, effective, and straightforward – yet also have a cosmic burning soul that moves them past the coldness that could sometimes hold back work from Chicago. The beats are tight, but never overbearing; the keyboards are spacey, but never too noodly; and Roy's got some great vocal help on a few cuts from singers that include Terry Dexter, Khalid, and Ayro! As a side note, the album was actually recorded a year or two before release, but delayed due to personal issues in Roy's life – which further enforces the "lost classic" feel of the set, and makes us even happier to finally have it out. Titles include "My Soul Is Electric", "If You Wanna", "Strings & Things", "Wonderland", "Nu Roots", "Heavenly Father", and "U Give U Take". LP, Vinyl record album
 
 
 



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