Monday, 4 January 2010

Freddie Lee - Beyond Comprehension - 2009 - Butterfly Records

When you pick up this CD and look at Freddie there are elements to his aspect of Morris Day and Mikki Bleu. Vocally this Florida native has a home-grown, gruff style that would not be out of place on a Gospel release. He's a true exponent of traditional soul singing and not a nasal whiner by any stretch of the major label imagination. I spoke about Larry Graham in the performance of William Scott a few reviews ago, and this also applies to this gentleman. I hear inflections of the great man here and this does nothing but make songs such as "Brighter Days" possess more weight, kudos and punch. This beaty, lumbering yet positive ditty contains elements of Labi Siffri's "Something Inside So Strong" within the lyrics, but in no way apes the whole song. I guess today this is knows as...'homage'. This positivity continues unabashed with the perky ""Great I Am". I like songs like this from real, bonafide soul singers. Singers like Freddie have known very hard times, and the process of overcoming is something very powerful. Freddie's conviction from his own struggle is plainly evident in his songs and his singing. Thus the tradition of the real soul singer.

The song that really should get radio exposure is the jubilant "Waiting For Me". No song on here exemplifies all that I have expounded on here better than this. Again, cleverly utilising sections of Aretha Franklin's "I Knew You Were Waiting For Me" this joyous outing will do nowt but impress. "Friend" opens with a really impressive monologue that would not be out of place on an Calvin Richardson or Bobby Womack album. This midtempo jam will certainly win some friends upon hearing. On a gospel note, Freddie does exactly what I like to hear - he stylises a song in a way that would appeal to those of a non-secular nature as well as merry appreciators of, say, Richard Dawkins! I cannot get to grips with too much overt religion but you know that this is what Freddie is mixing in here...and this works for me and will without doubt have greater appeal. If you love Glenn Jones then "Beyond Comprehension" is a track for you! Freddie sounds so much like Glenn Jones - even the UK's very own Bryan Powell on here. This track is SUPERB. I would buy the CD for this track alone, and am sure that a visit to CD Baby and a quick listen will convince you to click on 'purchase'. If you're looking for warmth and comfort on these cold, icy snowy January nights then look no further than...Freddie Lee.

Barry Towler
The Vibe Scribe