Monday, 2 February 2009

NYR - Magical - Soul Vibe Recordings

Nyr Raymond’s a French singer who’s does an excellent take on the modern soul sound and his first, self-titled LP won him lots of fans on the scene. Now he's back with a “new” release – ‘Magical’. But take care ‘cos a quick listen reveals that its not that new at all. The album boasts 14 tracks – however 10 of ‘em were all featured on the previous one, so for your readies you’ll be getting just four new tracks –but only one that is absolutely new. Hardly great value, but Soul Vibe’s Nigel Bird explains that this “new” set is actually Nyr’s US debut and while its out there, UK fans might want to grab it too. The original stuff (in a new running order, by the way) has stood up well with the Marvin-inspired ‘Dance 4 Me’ still doing it, though the more I listen to it I’m convinced that ‘Fine’ is a clever re-working of Stevie’s ‘Superwoman’. Anyway, the only brand new track on ‘Magical’ is a cover of Michael Jackson’s ‘The Lady In My Life’. Nyr does the Rod Temperton-penned tune full justice and doesn’t stray too far from the original template. Maybe it’s a tad slower and the groove is well-suited to modern room tempos. The song also gets a short reprise towards the end. The other two “newies” are versions of ‘Call Me’ – a song which in its original incarnation was lovely mid-tempo item. Here it comes in two versions. The first is breezy dancer and though I wouldn’t swear to it I’m sure I’ve heard this mix too. The second mix – labelled ‘Saturday Might Remix’ – I have heard before. It’s the Josef/Madhatter tweak that was on a 2006 Soul Vibe compilation. Its all good modern soul stuff which my top rating reflects. I’d just question the logic – even ethic –behind it.

Bill Buckley

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