Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Redd Soul - Natural Progression - 2005 - Star Quality

CD Baby has so much to offer us soul connoisseurs, and with many quality artists finding their way without the 'help' of major labels, CD Baby is the place to look for quality soul and jazz. Back in 2005 they delivered us another goodie in the form of blue-eyed soulster, Redd Soul aka Mark Mirkovitch, aided and abetted by producer Malcolm Harvest. For me there are three absolute monsters on here that crave your attention. The album has a soulful vibe and some street edge, and what Di-Lee would call a “Soulchoonz vibe”! Some tracks, too, appeal to a younger R&B set. These tracks are not my cup of Earl Grey but they are infinitely better and more listenable that the fiddle-faddle that the industry laughingly calls R&B nowadays. What is undeniable is that this gentleman has SOUL. Fans of Tim Dillinger and Jeff Hendrick will soon warm to Redd Soul. There is a freshness and innovative perspective that these artists come from. It’s soul music, pure and simple, with no hang-ups or baggage. These guys love their music and being highly talented they can create music that they and lovers of quality soul can be proud of. I love the titled intro that is very tribal, sexy and infectious and the following song has grown on me on subsequent plays.

I had originally considered this too ‘urban’ but Redd carries this off with such gusto and turns this into a healthy slice of neo-soul with a contemporary hard edge. The flute and funky keys also give this some extra muscle. Recommended. I was very impressed with the sheer joy and openness of "Summer Days"; a song that would fit nicely on Jeff Hendrick’s latest set. Excellent bob your head feel-good soul music. A real killer for me is the fresh and bubbly "One Way" with its acoustic keyboard and smooth backing vocals. This is a track that I wish I had during the summer. I would have had this pumping out on my travels I can assure you! My number one cream cut is the 80s sounding "Cheata" which again is one that was designed for Summer. I love this song to pieces and cannot get enough of it. "Jeopardise" follows on nicely and although rather modern I could imagine this being on a the Temptations “Legacy” album – think "Fifty Fifty Love" and you’re not that far off the mark. "More" is a very promising ballad to boot. Vocally I hear shades of gospel singer John Butler in the mix, and that is no bad thing in my book. Redd Soul is an interesting and bright new artist with a very promising future. I for one will play this album for some time and hope that we have a follow-up album in future. Please check CD Baby and do not overlook. Excellent stuff!

Barry Towler
The Vibe Scribe

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