Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Soul Harmonics - These Times - 2009 - Freestyle Records

This is a CD that will grab you as much as either Nick Van Gelder or Paul Mac Innes and T.B.O.I did late last year. This is funky, groovy retro dancefloor soul that should shake a few cobwebs from even the most jaded souls such as myself. Freestyle Records are to be thanked for releasing this gem. Again, this shows that the dear old Americans have yet again lost out on releasing quality material and thanks to the more enlightened and musically astute Europeans have served up a seriously strong set of soulful steppers to accompany any of the great tunes of yesteryear on our hallowed dance floors. Sexy vocalist Rachel Claudio makes her mark big time on the opening salvo of tuneage, namely the strong, strong "Miscommunicate". This is a piece of music that pays homage to the stylings of Salsoul and Tom Moulton with plenty of slap bass and freaky keyboards. Ah...2009 doesn't get much better than this does it?!

The effervescent "These Times" complete with Philly styled keyboards and rattling percussion - Candido style - is superb. This is a great, great track and again owes more to the late 70s than the close of the first decade of the 21st Century! Again, vocalist Rachel Claudio works well on this groove, giving her all in a Meli'sa Morgan type fashion. And that can't be bad. If you like this please check out the latest Cool Million single - I know you will love that too. "Coffee" has a brilliant TSOP vibe and, boy, did this make me break out into a huge smile. There's nothing greater than the power of real good music to make you feel fantastic, and as soon as the vibes kick in atop this rattly, shaky vibe one harks back to the days of Vincent Montana Jr. That's good enough for me! The zingy strings and party vibe of "Do You Even Know" add more weight to this album's worth as a serious purchase, and on here the vibe almost strays into early '90s soulful dance a la Ce Ce Peniston. Knowing the good people who frequent this website, I know that this album will definitely be on your wants list. Doubters, should there seriously be any, need look no further than the brilliant dancer "Holding Her Close" for a final, definite push in the right direction. An essential album, and let's face it, the party season IS almost upon is...and it's better to have this in stock that...umm...agadoo?????

Barry Towler
The Vibe Scribe
Buy on Amazon