Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Darnell Kendricks - Smooth Soul Café - 2010- Darnell Kendricks

Classy soul music from America is getting harder and harder to find, but when a truly essential release crops up from amongst the dross it has to be championed like crazy. Darnell Kendricks' second release is definitely one of THOSE championable CDs, and the quality is second to none. Uplifting, relaxing, sultry, seductive and sexy, "Smooth Soul Café" is all of these things. If you appreciate the more mature sounds of Brian McKnight - before he felt the need to hang wit da homiez... - then this is a CD that will appeal to you. McKnight is a massive talent and he would do well to listen to this CD to get his groove back. Seriously, this CD really does the soul some good and the vast majority of this CD will not disappoint. "Let's Run Away" was an instant hit for me. Smooth, with a hint of both Brian McKnight and Marvin Gaye in the mix, this track rolls along brilliantly. The beat ballad "Please Believe Me" reminds me of a quality track on a Parkes Stewart album - think "Brown Eyes" and you're not too far gone.

"So Much" is a blisteringly good track - plenty of atmosphere...horns, guitar and a rich musical tapestry covers this with much elegance. These songs yet again prove Darnell Kendricks as a real, genuine and proper bonafide soul singer and writer. Versatility is also the name of the game. Check the jazzy piano led, stripped down and no-nonsense "After Dinner" which turns the album around on a pin head! Jeff Ponders' sax reprise is very refreshing too, and the more I hear like this out of the dear old US of A the better. The buoyancy of "You Took My Loneliness" is truly uplifting...the experience of finding real love must be very special indeed, and how many of us await such a revelation in our lives? Following this, naturally I suppose, we have "Joy" - a juicy morsel of a track which adds a little warmth to our cold, cold winter days. An additional bonus from his Japanese BMFN release is the Diggyism remix of "Good Love". This is a great song with panache, fizz and plenty of verve. Oh, this really does make the heart sing, and I implore you to take a seat at the Smooth Soul Café. the music there is great!

Barry Towler
The Vibe Scribe.