Monday, 2 February 2009

Various Artists - In The Groove - Soul Vibe Records

Soul Vibe is a newish label that’s a sort of spin off from the old and much loved Café de Soul set up. Earlier this year they released the wonderfully retro ‘Back From the 80s’ set from Unam and indeed the French guitar man’s ’Love’s Taken Over’ and ‘Just Like Real Lovers Do’ are two of several standouts on this new 13 track compilation. Unam’s also featured on the brand new ‘The Way U Do It’ from One Soul Concept. That one also features Myron and there’s real Rashaan Patterson flavour to it. Its steady beats will delight dancers. As good for the floor, if not better for its steadiness is ‘Hear Me’ from new gospel star Tracii Chinwah. That one has the lot – tight beats, wonderful melody, sweet harmonies and a soulful vocal from the young Texan. Different again is the wistful ballad ‘Something New’; from 2 Tone. With vocals from James King, it has a real retro sound that reminds me of the best of Billy and Sara Gaines. Other highlights include Tom Owens’s ‘Real Life’ (real down tempo Toni, Tony Tone soul), Live Warfield’s ‘Get Away’ (been around a while that one, but still worth including) and Lenny Hamilton’s ‘Mama’s Boy’ (watch out for his ‘Wayout’ album). In honesty though each and every track has lot to offer modern soul people. Put this with Expansion’s ‘ Soul and The City’ and Soulchoonz’s ‘Nu Vintage’ compilations and you’ll have the cream of 2007 modern soul.

Bill Buckley