Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Felton Pilate - Nothing But Love Spoken Here - 2005 - Felstar

Following Confunkshun, Felton Pilate worked with a group called Special Generation back in the early 90s. The new album is exactly in that vein, so I suppose some would say that compared to some R&B sets today it could be classed as dated. The album does have an early 90s feel about it, so if that’s a plus for you as it is me, then great. The crowning glory of this set for me is the title song. I was smitten with this as soon as I heard it, and it definitely rates as one of THE tracks of 2004. This is a classic, traditional soul ballad that is so lacking at the moment, even in quality circles. Whether this be the product of a sadly bygone age, I cannot really say. It just appeals to me big time. "Nothing But Love Spoken Here" is sexy, sensuous and is as velvety as it comes. Some will not warm to the very brief Ernie Isley-ish guitar moment some two-and-a-half minutes in, but I am rather akin to that anyway so no complaints here. This song renders the album as an essential purchase. CD Baby has a great sample on their site so you check this out for yourself. There are 3 remixes of this song at the tail end of the CD. I wouldn’t bother if I were you!

I recommend the excellent late 80s sounding ballad "In Time" which should get your juices flowing and "Taking It From The Top" has an early 90s groove and the Soul To Soul feel works well. I can imagine Al Johnson recording this, and I guess any of the more uptempo numbers from his "My Heart Is An Open Book" set would fare well as a comparison. Be careful when you reach "Only For You". It promises to be sugary enough to be diabetic keel over, but miss this at your peril. It is, in fact ,a smouldering ballad duet with Janice-Marie Johnson from 70s group, A Taste Of Honey. This rather bashful, unassuming number has some devastating soulful chord changes and the overall arrangement is nothing but class. "Watch You" is more chunkier and firmer. It has a solid foundation to work on, and Felton’s voice shows no sign of having deteriorated over the years. I like the soaring, icy synth and the funky guitar work. The rest of the CD is pleasant, and certainly listenable, but it is weaker than the songs I have chosen here, but overall, I would rather have a set like this any day than a lot of what is on the market today. Worth consideration if only for the track.

Barry Towler
The Vibe Scribe

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