Monday, 20 September 2010

Dorian Wright - Mind Full Of Music - 2010 - L Records

L Records happens to be Honolulu's first 'off the grid' record label and as such has kicked off what I hope to be a very promising future with this hugely acclaimed album, "Mind Full Of Music" by Dorian Wright. The thing with this album is this: are you a fan of Stevie Wonder and Rahsaan Patterson? If both are a resounding yes, then odds are pretty much in favour of you loving this album. The only gripe I have to be fair is this is so Stevie Wonder it may as well be Stevie Wonder. This begs the thought of WHY does dear old Stevie lurk in the shadows and not come out with another classic '70s sounding set which is what all critics and fans really and truly want? So, til he stops hiding away with Lord Lucan, my lovelife, decent TV programming and 80s racehorse Shergar we have the void filled with artists who appreciate the sounds of his early '70s Tamla issues. Dorien Wright fills that void and then some more!

Take, for example, "Trying To Be", which could easily slip in comfortably on the "Songs In The Key Of Life" album. Yep, this is really aimed at that groove and he hits the mark. Big time. Even the vocals are spot-on. Unsure, actually, if this is a desirable thing or not BUT at the end of the day it's actually a crackin' track - reservations included. The boisterous rhythm of "Harlem Shuffle" is incorporated nicely into the Rahsaan Patterson-like modern thumper "Lying Woman". This is one for the dancefloors and although the samples may put some off, the overall effect is tastefully done and not ripped off in a complete P-Diddy fashion. The warm keyboards of "Say I Do" again hark back to the 1970s, and the Stevie-ish vocals also remind me of Frank McComb in places. This is a crackin' track so please feel free to whop up the volume a wee bit. "You Got A Bad Thing" oozes class, it really does, and continues the mid 1970s vibe nicely.

"Sweet One Night's Life" picks up the pace and although the hi-hat is programmed the funkiness and quirkiness is more than enough to make you smile and put a spring in your step. For an earlier 70s Stevie sound we have "Want To See The Sun"...the synth that bolsters this chunky effort is heavenly, and the backing vocals really are superb. the gorgeous Maxwell cum Eric Benét-like ballad "Distance" is also worth a spin. Here Dorien phrases like the aforementioned but i also hear a healthy Michael Jackson flavour in there too. Vocally we are not inside Stevie Wonder territory and although we have all heard better ballads I would be interested to hear more of the real Dorien Wright...this man has a lot of hidden talents to add to his already awesome level of talent and it's this which should be displayed on his next album. An unmissable set.

Barry Towler
The Vibe Scribe