Monday, 2 February 2009

Various Artists - Street Soul 3 - Street Soul

This is, obviously, the third in DJ Bigger’s Street Soul series and as with the first two the big man’s pulled together some very tasty modern soul and R&B cuts – tunes that have been tried and tested in his gigs over the last few months. Hard to cherry pick, ‘cos there’s lots that’s excellent in here but the most obvious grabber is Nu Life’s ‘Now That I Found U’. Here it’s in the 5AM Optimistic Remix –which, of course, samples the mighty Sounds of Blackness’ ‘Optimistic’. It’s that sample which guarantees the catchiness and it’s a great cut. Longer and repeated listens though reveal to me, at least, that the real gem amongst the 15 on offer is Omar Shabazz’s ‘New Day’ – proper soul music I’d call it. Great committed delivery, meaningful lyrics, steady beats and a wonderful melody – it’s all here. Christynette's ‘If I Could’ and Melody’s ‘Round And Round’ come close too. I also have a lot of time for Tony Ozier’s ‘Sun Shines Again’ and you’d never argue with some called Corleone, would you? So, Shorty Corleone’s ‘While Alone’ gets the thumbs up too. On the down side I have to say that despite what others say, I found the housey mix of Unified Tribe’s ‘Happy Go Lucky’ quiet takes all the soul away while the melody on Susanne Palsboll’s ‘If Its Cool’ is a bit too close to India Airie’s ‘Video’ for my liking while the North West modern soul contingent will balk at the rap. But the collection’s not aimed at one soul crew –there’s something for everyone and loads to enjoy. But beware – the album’s a limited edition. Get it while (and if) you can!

Bill Buckley