Monday, 23 February 2009

The Chestnut Brothers - Retro Soul

“Retro Soul” is a bit of a misleading title as the album is not at all that way inclines. There is rap on here, blues and reggae so the guys are flexing their musical styles here and obviously having a whale of a time in so doing. I'm not at all impressed with these efforts, mind and wish the fellas would do what they do best – make great soul / gospel music. We can always rely on these guys to deliver us something special and since the 90s they have done so to great affect. “Choose Your Destiny” is a well-known radio spin here in the UK and has been championed by many, including our very own Gary Spense. Easily one of their best songs, this gloriously positive and empowering groove is essential beyond question. It has, rightly, been paralleled with “Galveston Bay” as far as melody goes and there is a great deal of truth in that. The brilliant “Mountain Of Love” is another piece of positive lyrical writing and when matched with the aforementioned experiment tracks really show us what is the business and what isn't.
I am totally in love with “Come To Me”. This is pure class and has blasted out of my car speakers much recently. It almost reminds me of recent Dazz Band material – think of “You Are My Starship” and you're in the right area. Fans of a reggae sound will love “Not Ready For Love” which is the best of that style on here. It almost convinces you at the outset of being a modern 'Northern' cut! A bit schizophrenic you could say, but looking at the album as a whole it fits in. Better still is “We've Got Love”. Far more suited to the Al and Ty's huge talents and abilities, this song is far superior. Lovers of their 1990 single, “Whole Lotta You In Me” will not be impressed with the remixes on here. It's a case of if it's not broken leave well enough alone! The CD contains more than enough quality to warrant digging out your credit card – credit crunch or not – and dropping in that electronic shopping basket. Recommended.

Barry Towler