Friday, 20 February 2009

St. Paul - Everything - 2002 - Celebration Records

We all know and love "Intimacy", which was one of the best dance cuts of 1987. This song was the epitome of classy, 'blue-eyed' soul. St. Paul Peterson comes from a very distinguished musical family - who record as "The Family"! - and has worked with many luminaries since the 80s. His "Down To The Wire" CD in 1990 offered the most exquisite ballad that the man has ever made in the form of "Every Heart Needs a home" and then... silence! What happened then was that St.Paul kicked back into the fold of his very talented and musical Peterson family and then came a very funky CD release in 1996. The 6-or so years we waited until this release in 2002 from the Ex-Time member was well worth the wait! St. Paul struck out with a very solid album that is as varied as it is essential. You know me - I am a die-hard soul fan BUT I do also appreciate other forms of music, especially when soulfully delivered. That's the mainstay of this CD. If you love the airy California feel to, say, Ronan Keating's "Rollercoaster" or Rod Stewart's "I Can't Deny It" and the material of The Corrs or even Sixpence None The Richer then you, like me, will adore this album and tracks such as "Stay Awhile", and "Unwilling" would also be to your liking.

For those who just want to stick to the soulful side of the road then please do NOT ignore the two cracking ballads served up in the form of "Somebody Like You" or "Life's Too Short". This really is blue-eyed soul at its very best and for my money St. Paul ranks way up there with the most soulful of white vocalists such as Michael McDonald, Slim Man, Daryl Hall, Eric Tagg and Mark Winkler. "Somebody Like You" is a great summertime groove with plenty of acoustic guitar, synth, and more atmosphere than one of Sly Stone's parties! And that's saying something! LOL. "Life's Too Short" really celebrates the moment of doing what feels good when you need to do it and is a cautionary tale. Take heed! As the old saying goes...gather ye rosebuds whilst ye may. The opening cut, "Sugar", is very funky and radio-friendly and will get your ears opening up so give that a spin. "Everything" has something to offer everyone, whether they be a soul fan, a pop fan or just someone who just appreciates good music. Now, you Soulies - I know what you can be like (I'm one of them and have been guilty as charged!) and you must check out the aforementioned tracks. Too good to miss out on.

Barry Towler
The Vibe Scribe

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