sat 13/07/2024

CD: Beverley Knight – Soul UK | reviews, news & interviews

CD: Beverley Knight – Soul UK

CD: Beverley Knight – Soul UK

One of the UK’s greatest singers reminds us of some of the UK’s neglected soul treasures

Made-in-Wolverhampton Bev next to a made-in-Milton Keynes Marshal amp

Most of the arrangements on this collection of covers of Eighties and early-Nineties UK soul tunes actually have more of a mid-Seventies live band feel to them. This proves to be an excellent way of rescuing the material from the often stultifying effect of programmed drums and cheesy keyboards which has rendered so much music from this period unlistenable to. Largely the approach works very well, although on one or two tracks the end result doesn’t quite measure up to its template.

For example, “Apparently Nothing” by the Young Disciples still sounds cooler and more edgily contemporary in its 1991 manifestation than it does in this workmanlike retread. But to be fair, the gal had set herself a gigantic task here: she’s trying to measure up to people’s treasured memories. I mean, how was her take on “There’s Nothing Like This” ever going to be as sexy and summer-breeze cool as the Omar original? However, there is one track on which she does strike a rich seam of gold. She turns George Michael’s rather neutered and static “One More Try” into a majestic secular hymn evoking shiver-down-the-spine memories of Jimmy Cliff’s “Many Rivers to Cross”. Because of the more stripped-down arrangement, Knight’s voice is the focus here, as it moves in a funky heartbeat from vibrato-heavy vulnerable to ball-breaking authoritative.

But really my advice is to go straight to the accompanying live DVD, as that’s where the real action is. The band sound more bouncily, sinuously alive, and you won’t be able to take your eyes off Knight as she strides around the stage, fizzing with energy and enthusiasm, nailing each song with consummate ease, and repeatedly demonstrating that she’s one of our greatest vocalists, not only in soul but in any genre.

Watch Beverley Knight perform "One More Try" from the bonus DVD

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Reading this review it shows you dont understand Beverley Knight. Not ever has she said she will do this album to be better then the original artist, shes done this album in respect of them and showing some of the best Soul in the Uk. The reason why Beverley Knight is not as big as Beyonce as you stated is cause Beverley Knight hasnt sold her soul to untold merchandising deals. Also for a band to be "bouncily" in a studio i cant remember an album being like that unless The Teletubbies done an album! The band live (like most bands) are pure funk, and music is always sooo much better live then on any album which as a music review i thought you would understand. The only part i can agree with on this review was the last bit which stated 'that she’s one of our greatest vocalists, not only in soul but in any genre.

And you clearly didn’t understand my review, Dean. At no point did I say or even infer that she did make this album to ‘better the original artists’. I am perfectly aware that Ms Knight’s primary concern was to remind people of a bunch of songs and artists she correctly feels have been forgotten or neglected over the years. And of course I understand that live music is often funkier than studio recordings, but my point was that it’s much rarer for an artist to capture that sound/feeling on DVD or CD, yet this is a great live recording. It amazes me that even when you write a 90% positive review they’ll always be someone who’ll come along and find something to gripe about – even if it means they do so by completely misrepresenting and misunderstanding what you have said.

Dear Howard No i must not obv understand your review on BeverleyKnights New Album and same as the other 5 people i know that also read it and felt it was not 90% positive. I personally feel that the review is more negative then positive ...and if this is wrong then maybe it could be the way you have explained it! It also amazes me that you ask for feedback and when given you get very defencive, i think its a situation where we will agree to disagree and i know not to read your reviews as i may not understand them!

Get a grip, Dean! Clearly you need to read this review again, it's actually a very positive review. Very reasonable - not sachharine, not harsh, but an honest opinion which rasises valid points, acknowledges her talent, and criticises where criticism is due.

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