Saturday, 28 February 2009

Duane Williams / Natural Impulse - Yes, My Love Is Real / She Went Away

Soul Junction, the label who brought us the fabulous Falcons compilation have delivered two modern monsters of wax, and I have to say that even to a CD-phile like myself the quality of these pressings are far superior to that which frequently turned my nose up all those years ago. Duane Williams “Yes, My Love Is Real” is a real essential modern soul stepper with elements of J Blackfoot, or Walt Foster within his soulful voice, and the tune smacks of Ronnie McNeir circa “Love Suspect”. I hope this single draws in the crows that it deserves – such a tune is exactly what we want to hear in 2009, and what magnificent work has been made between Duane Williams and Will Hatcher. The flip side is a short yet essential reprise – almost harking back to the days before 12” singles when we had Part 1 on the A side, and Part 2 on the other! The song is upbeat, breezy and will be one that will become lodged in your brain. One to whistle or hum to! The second single is from Natural Impulse who supply us with a jazzier, 70s flavour. I hark back to the likes of Wood, Brass and Steel, and even Richie Cole's “New York Afternoon” at the very offset on this group effort. Of the two sides I definitely plumb for the A side which is the strong, strong “She Went Away”. The Richie Cole type sax, soulful, aching vocal, hi-hat and female backing vocals speak of simpler, less complicated times. I find a lot of today's music overdone, over-egged and a bit too 'cramped', if you know what I mean. The real instruments, expansive and even sound of this song is pitched just right. No heavy synth-bass to drown out any subtleties on here! I love this song. I think this is much stronger than the party-time B-Side, “Time Is Right”, which takes on a Bar-Kays feel. This doesn't work as well for me at any rate, but that's a trifle compared to the finer A side. If Soul Junction keep up with this sort of material then all's the better.

Barry Towler