Monday, 6 September 2010

Soul Talk - Soul Talk - 2010

This is a group that may be new but whose members have a long history and pedigree, and it's a fresh revelation to hear such a joyous, vibrant and positive album from these souls that lifts the spirit, energises the soul and begs repeat listening. Comprised of lead vocalist Gary Poole from UK group Troi, Toby Baker on keyboards, guitar and bass who has worked with many stars including Chaka Khan and Michael McDonald, and Ernie McKone on drum, bass and guitar (as well as owning Boogie Back Records!) This group are very much in a hands on, raw, live and unplugged mode and I get feelings that they are fans of such luminaries such as the Average White Band, Seawind and Tower Of Power. Our vocalist, Gary Poole, is ultra-soulful, he has real grit and emotion with a proper, honest-to-goodness delivery that is so, so lacking in today's staid and lacklustre market. Some styles here also remind me of Big Brooklyn Red's first album, "Foreword", and thus makes a case of supporting this group much more compelling.

The opening song really sets the scene..."It's Your Life" is upbeat, positive and actually, unlike most ditties today, says something! I really fell hook, line and sinker for the brilliance of "Really Don't Mind"...this is sheer soul heaven and if this song doesn't put a spring in your step and a smile on your face then you must have no pulse at all! These two tracks alone are well worthy, but it was when I heard the sheer beauty of track 6, the interlude before "I Want It", I was totally floored. these guys have been sat listening - and listening closely to Dexter Wansel and his spacey synth...Think his epic "Life On Mars" set and you're not far from the truth...or a million miles from the ground even! The following, aforementioned song is completely essential...check out the early 80s keys!!!! Never has American R&B touched the brilliance of this material in many a year, and a huge round of applause to all who participated in this album. I first listened to these two songs in the car whilst on the M25 and I can honestly say that I hit replay on each maybe a dozen times. Simply brilliant. The acoustic soul of "I Guess That You're Leaving" can only be described as heavenly...a great song to cruise down the coast to, and although on the topic of splitting up has a great feel-good flavour in the vein of Vivienne McKone's brilliant 1992 tunes "Sing" and "Beware". Breathtaking. This is available as a download at present on iTunes and Amazon, but will soon be in good old physical Cd form soon. Whatever format you choose, make sure this CD is a definite purchase. Essential.

Barry Towler
The Vibe Scribe