wed 23/09/2020

soul music

Album: Alicia Keys - Alicia

Alicia Keys is a puzzling mixture. On the one hand she’s the hyper-achieving, multi-platinum, 752-Grammy-winning America’s sweetheart, all dimply smiles, positive-thinking ultra sincerity and the kind of showbiz over-emoting and singing-technique-as...

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Album: Disclosure - ENERGY

When Disclosure appeared a decade ago, they were a necessary antidote to the rank gorgonzola of EDM, which was turning club music into a garish mire of musical infantilism. These two deliberately faceless Surrey brothers, Guy and Howard Lawrence,...

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Reissue CDs Weekly: Ready Or Not - Thom Bell's Philly Soul Arrangements & Productions

A skim though the track listing confirms that this is no typical soul compilation. Actress and some-time pop singer Connie Stevens crops up. So does Johnny Mathis. Such seeming quirks are fitting as Thom Bell was never a typical arranger, producer...

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Everything: The Real Thing Story, BBC Four review - brilliant but long overdue

This documentary is bittersweet viewing on quite a number of levels. First, it’s got all the glory and tragedy of the most compelling music stories: a Liverpool band struggling from humble beginnings, trying to find an identity, fraternity and...

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On the Record review - #MeToo turns its lens to the music industry, gives the mic to women of colour

On the Record, the latest documentary from Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering (acclaimed directors of The Hunting Ground), dives into the sexual misconduct allegations against music mogul Russell Simmons, the so-called ‘Godfather of Hip Hop.’ It...

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Album: Khruangbin - Mordechai

There’s a moment halfway through Khruangbin’s latest album that succinctly sums up the melting-pot model this band have made their own. It’s “Pelota”, a Spanish-influenced song, based on a Japanese film, played by a Texan three-piece with a Thai...

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Album: John Legend - Bigger Love

Personal grace and crafted precision underpin John Legend’s neo-soul style, leaving pushing boundaries to others, to stake out the romantic ground we still share. Like Smokey Robinson, he has tireless interest and infinite metaphors for love. “Wild...

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Album: Moses Sumney - græ

Moses Sumney’s second album is a double, and splits and nuances in gender, sexuality and identity define its fluid nature. A 28-year-old Ghanaian-American who grew up as an outsider in both countries, Sumney is most interested in removing...

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Album: Damien Jurado - What's New, Tomboy?

He's only in his mid-20s, but this is Seattle singer-songwriter Damien Jurado’s 15th album. Veering away from a predictable path, his career is dotted with sonic experimentalism alongside a tendency to try abstract lyrical forms. He also appears on...

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Reissue CDs Weekly: Mitch Ryder & The Detroit Wheels - Sockin’ It To You

How Mitch Ryder is seen depends on particular perspectives. The Detroit blue-eyed soul belter racked up a string of US hits on 45 in 1966 and 1967. He made many albums, became an oldies radio staple and a perennial live draw. In the UK though he was...

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Colors performance stream on YouTube review - vocalists on lockdown

The Colors studio in Berlin has quietly created one of the biggest new brands in music from filming back-to-basics performances with laser-focused branding. From international megastars (Billie Eilish, Mac DeMarco) to up-and-comers, singers and...

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Album: Ren Harvieu - Revel In The Drama

Filmic. Lushness balanced with intimacy. Ren Harvieu’s follow-up to 2012’s Top Five Through The Night is crammed with wide-screen aural dramas. Take “Cruel Disguise”. It begins with a slinky Sixties spy thriller vibe along the Shirley Bassey lines...

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