Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Various Artists - Soul Togetherness 2009 - 2009 - Expansion

My opinion is that this is by far the best collection of Togetherness tunes that Expansion have ever drawn together. It really is a Flagship release, this one. I cannot thank Ralph, Richard and the gang for this solid, solid effort. In times where artists, labels and distribution are up against the wall it warms me deep inside to see labels such as this releasing material such as this. This, dear readers, is qualitaaaaaay! Track one...well, the starting pistol for this compilation's run sets loose a formidable, essential groove courtesy of Root Soul featuring Leon King and their KILLER "My Dream Came True". Root Soul is a Japanese based affair headed by Kenichi Ikeda and London-based soul man Leon King. This monster stepper groove is EXACTLY the kind of funky 70s cum Y2K amalgam that gets my juices a wonderful Earth, Wind & Fire, Leroy Hutson and Father's Children mix with a very contemporary Chi-Town stepper's groove holding it together, "My Dream Came True" cannot and should not be overlooked - you would be totally devoid of soul if this track did not excite you!

Where the US cannot release anything bar brain-dead illiterate rap or auto-tuned RnB for teenagers and younger, the good UK hits out with a tune that wipes the floor with ANYTHING coming out from the US...once the home of soul longer. Tyrone's "Time Of Your Life" is such a gloriously positive uptempo slice of CLASSIC real soul. This is a real feel good song full of joy, happiness and...SOUL! This was a sound file tune on My Space...just shows you how the digital world makes inroads into our music scene at an increasing rate. Good! Let's have more musical freedom! From Australia comes Kylie. Auldist, that is. Her chunky steeper "In A Week, In A Day" works wonders for these ears, and Switzerland's superb Seven is included with "Wish Of A Fool" - a BRILLIANT track featuring the equally brilliant Omar. This is music to really make your heart swell. SOUL, and then some. There's more! Oh yes, for 2009 we also have the funky Jovinne from L.A. and the KILLER "Was She Worth It". What a chooon!!!!! Jimmy Abney...what a talent. Having reviewed his superb set some time ago, we find him teaming up with Japan's 45 Aka Swing-O for this wonderful expansive piece of jazzy soul.

There are a few oldies on here...and what choices to boot. hats off for these, guys..."Only One I Need To Love" is one of my favourite tracks from their 1980 LP, "Love Uprising" - typical of the classy output of Capitol at the turn of the decade, and typical of the classier output of this phenomenal family grouping - Benjamin Wright on the production tip does nowt but good on this! The Impressions' SUPERB 1976 cut "This Time" is second to none - and a track I had been unfamiliar with. I was also unfamiliar with the following song...a cut that totally blew me completely and utterly out of the water...Chaka Khan's "Lover's Touch". This, the B-Side to "What Cha' Gonna Do For Me" from 1981 was supposed to be on the album of the same name but failed to make it. Thankfully Ralph managed to get hold of the master tape...and here is full real Cd quality is this KILLER song. One of my favourite Chaka Khan albums, this album would have been so more special with this addition - a track that I had to have on repeat play over and over and over again. This is real soul music sung by a real singer. This whole compilation deserves a red carpet when delivered by the postman, and I implore you NOT to let this CD go without immediate purchase.

Barry Towler
The Vibe Scribe

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