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2009 | Reviews


N'Dambi - Pink Elephant Title: Pink Elephant
Artist: N'Dambi
Label: Stax
Year: 2009

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The new N'Dambi album is entiteld "Pink Elephant". N'Dambi delivers twelve lovely tracks one more sexier than the other on this album. The title Pink Elephant must be the symbol for the new and fresh sounds on this CD.

The uptempo opener "L.I.E." gives us a different look on the American Dream. But don't be disappointed because you can still go for the Dream even if you are "Nobody Jones". N'Dambi tells us stories about daily life. On the new Stax label N'Dambi brings us a different sound. Whereas the intro of "Nobody Jones" might remind some of you of the Philly sound, the song "Daisy Chain" brings back The Booker-T and The MG's groove from long time ago. Most important thing is that N'Dambi has a unique sound that fits like a glove with her dark and lovely voice. The production of "Pink Elephant" is outstanding just as the love song "Ooo Baby". Another encouraging and romantic song is "What It Takes". The lush and jazzy sounds in "Imitator" and "Free Fallin'"will tickle ur senses. A song from the heart is "Can't Hardly Wait" where the truth is told about many a relationship where people keep fucking although the love is gone. The dance song on "Pink Elepant" is "The World Is A Beat". It is the song where we hear a sample from "Solid As A Rock" from Ashford and Simpson.(TA)

Stand Out Tracks: L.I.E., What It Takes, Nobody Jones, Ooo Baby, Daisy Chain, Can't Hardly Wait, The World Is A Beat, Imitaor, Free Fallin'

© 2009, SaveOurSoul

Various Artists - Soul Unsigned volume 3 Title: Soul Unsigned Volume 3
Artist: Various Artists
Label: Soul Unsigned
Year: 2009

Buy Soul Unsigned Volume 3 now
The new album "Soul Unsigned volume 3" takes you to higher level than its predecessors volume 1 and volume 2. You will listen in admiration to most of the fourteen tracks on this compilation album of indepent artists. The music is fresh and it can easily compete with that of artists from a major label.

All kind of soul music styles are represented on "Soul Unsigned volume 3". From dance to soulful house and from electro funk to delightful jazz. The artists featured on the album come from all over the world, from Latvia to New Zealand.

Tyrone will give you the "Time Of Your Life" with his brilliant opening track. Another track to remember is that of Chris Youngblood entitled "In Love With You". There are so many love songs in the world and yet this musician is able to capture your attention with his song. Excellent Gentlemen from Portland Oregon will bring you plenty funk in the song "Freaky" which might remind some of us of "Rumours" from The Timex Social Club. More funk or maybe funky jazz comes from J.Stever in "Music". Cool Million really has the groove and the rhythm going on in "Next To Me", it will make you dance. You might know Tony Momrelle from his work with Incognito. With Candycream from Germany he also feels like a bird in the sky singing "Give Love A Chance", which is so reminiscent of the young Stevie Wonder. Did you know that New Zealand has soul? Check out the track "Love" by the Constituents a nice surprise. A kind of catchy soul orchestra sound is produced by Roman Andrén in "Amber Lady". A great dance anthem is the track "Get Up" from Unified Tribe. It has the party spirit that you might remember from groups like The Gap Band and Kool and The Gang like in "Get Down On It"(TA).

Stand Out Tracks: Time Of You Life, Music, Freaky, Next To Me, In Love With You, Give Love A Chance, Love, Get Up

© 2009, SaveOurSoul

Melba Moore & Phil Perry - The Gift of Love Title: The Gift of Love
Artist: Melba Moore & Phil Perry
Label: Shanachie
Year: 2009
Buy The Gift Of Love now
"The Gift Of Love" is a sweet musical collaboration between Melba Moore and Phil Perry. In eleven tracks the duo revives some classic soul music and R&B tracks like "Ain't Nothing Like The Real Thing". The album contains three new songs.

If you are pretty young you might not have heard of Melba Moore and Phil Perry. Now you have a chance to get to know them. People who already know both members of this duo will receive "The Gift Of Love"with open arms. They know what they might expect from these great artists and the track list looks challenging as well.

One of your favourites will definitely be "Ain't Nothing Like The Real Thing" a song you might know from Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell. Melba and Phil have refreshed this song in a sparkling way. The duo also gives you every reason to be "Optimistic" when you hear their version of this Sound Of Blackness hit. Together with the new song "Survival Kit", written by Preston Glass and Phil Perry, it is one of the more uptempo songs on "The Gift Of Love". The other new songs are the title track written by Chris Davis and and "U Never Know" written by Phil Perry and Chris Davis. A graceful gospel song to play on sunday's is "It Will Be Alright". Besides the duets there are a few solo songs on the album. One of them is the beautiful track "I Believe" by Melba Moore. It brings you piece of mind and it makes you keep the faith. A great duet like in the good old days is "You're All I Need To Get By". Even greater is the title track "Give" which really is "The Gift Of Love".(TA)

Stand Out Tracks: Optimistic, You're All I Need To Get By, Ain't Nothing Like The Real Thing, Survival Kit, We'll Be Together Then, Give(The Gift Of Love)

© 2009, SaveOurSoul

Various Artists - Soul Togetherness 2009 Title: Soul Togetherness 2009
Artist: Various Artists
Label: Expansion Records
Year: 2009
Buy Soul Togetherness 2009 now
You can have your own soul party with the music on the album "Soul Togetherness 2009". It is the tenth album in this series which started in 2000. The "Soul Togetherness 2009" album contains fifteen full tracks from familiar and less familiar artists.

It is a real pleasure to listen to all the tracks on "Soul Togetherness 2009". New artists like Root Soul from Japan are keeping up high the tradition of soul music. Listening to Chaka Khan and The Impressions you will find out what this tradition has in store.

Nostalgic feelings to better days might overwhelm you when listening to "Lover's Touch" from Chaka Khan, "This Time" from The Impressions or "Only One I Need To Love" from Tavares. At the same time you will feel relief when you hear new comer Jovonnie sing "Was She Worth It" with so much soul. It's an uptempo funky song. Another excellent song is "Nothing Feels Better Than You" from 45 aka Swing-O featuring Jimmy Abney. This song feels like a joint venture between Al Jarreau and Ray Parker Junior. In reality it is a co-operation between a Japanese keyboardist and an American soul singer. Highly addictive is the almost one hundred percent instrumental dance track "Some Of The Things(Joey Negro Dub)" from Los Charly's Orchestra. These are two Venezuelan producers. There's a lot of fresh blood on the soul front! Even if you don't like paprika you will love the track from Paprika Soul entiteld "Music Of Life". It has the kind of Burt Bacharach big band swing that could make it a standard. The oldest track on Soul Togetherness 2009" is "This Time" from The Impressions from 1976. On it you will hear the voices of Sam Gooden, Fred Cash, Reggie Torian and Nate Evans. One of the youngest tracks is " Everything Is Good2Nite" a real floor filler from Kloud 9. This year these soul twins celebrate their tenth anniversary.(TA)

Stand Out Tracks: My Dream Came True, Time Of Your Life, Only One I need To Love, Lover's Touch, Was She Worth It, Nothing Feels better Than You, Some Of The Things, This Time, Everything Is Good2Nite

© 2009, SaveOurSoul

The Dynamites featuring Charles Walker - Burn It Down Title: Burn It Down
Artist: The Dynamites featuring Charles Walker
Label: Outtasight Records
Year: 2009
Buy Burn It Down now
The new album from The Dynamites featuring Charles Walker is called "Burn It Down". You will find twelve tracks on the album from a band that consists of ten members. One of the twelve tracks is a duet with Shawna P. and you will also find an instrumental.

The Dynamites featuring Charles Walker sound like a live band. Their music might remind you of James Brown but also of the music from The Dap-Kings. By listening to the album "Burn It Down" you will get the feeling that you have to see the band perform live. They will take you higher.

A band with saxophone, organ, flute and trumpet has basically all the ingredients to bring you soul music. The Dynamites featuring Charles Walker are making music to entertain you. The track "If I Had Known" has a kind of familiar intro and feeling that might take you back to the times of Archie Bell and The Drells. On the other hand a track like "Somebody's Got It Better" brings in mind "Get On The Good Foot" from the Godfather of soul James Brown. There is a lot of soulful energy in the song "Somebody Stop Me". In the track "(It's A)Sunny Day" The Dynamites are starting slowly and step by step they are building it up to an energetic uptempo song that will make you go wild on the dancefloor. The duet from Charles Walker with Shawna P. entitled "The Real Deal" is a lovely ballad. But the general impression you will get from the new album from The Dynamites featuring Charles Walker is that the really want to "Burn It Down" in a funky way.(TA)

Stand Out Tracks: If I Had Known, Somebody's Got It Better, Do The Right Thing, Sunny Day, The Third Degree, The Real Deal

© 2009, SaveOurSoul

Various Artist - Independent Soul Divas 2 Title: Independent Soul Divas 2
Artist: Various Artists
Label: Lola Waxx Records
Year: 2009
Buy Independent Soul Divas 2 now
It is a pleasure to hear sixteen independent soul divas singing for you on one album. The album is entitled "Independent Soul Divas 2". Each diva sings one track on this CD. You will find new tracks from Adina Howard, Lea Lorien, LeNora Jaye, Rena Scott, D'Cheri, Kelli Sae, Maya Neiada, Lori Jenaire and Razzberry.

The other ladies singing for you are Lina, Rachel Brown, Aura Jackson, Melissa Young, Kendra Ross, Tracy Cruz and Sy Smith. Each and everyone of these women has done a good job but of course you are free to choose your own favourites. Pure soul music is what the album contains ranging from a funky party song to even a real girl power song!

Variety is the spice of life and on "Independent Soul Divas 2" also the spice of music. Where LeNora Jaye addresses the sometimes bitter reality of life in a great song "Times Are Hard", Rachel Brown will take you to a funky party "Weekend" and Tracy Cruz is searching for the way to "Your Dreams" in an exciting song. Lina is showing girl power in "Get It Right" à la Shirley Brown in "Woman To Woman". Rena Scott with her sweet experienced and warm voice brings soulful emotions and lessons of wisdom in "You Keep Trippin'". Adina Howard will take you to a dilemma in the wonderful and heartfelt song "What Do I Do". A lesson from love is "Rehab" from Maya Neiada. Another very sweet love song is "Better" by Lori Jenaire. It has a beautiful melody and the right tone. One of the most exciting compositions is "Like I Do" from D'Cheri with its original new and fresh sound. You will like the soulful shades of Razzberry's voice in the very contagious track "Can't Call". The excellent track from Aura Jackson entitled "Walk After U" has to be mentioned here as well.(TA)

Stand Out Tracks: Times Are Hard, What Do I Do, You Keep Trippin', Can't Call, Weekend, Get It Right, Walk After U, Better, Like I Do

© 2009, SaveOurSoul

Various Artists - The Contemporary Soul Songbook Vol 1 Title: The Contemporary Soul Songbook Vol. 1
Artist: Various Artists
Label: Soul Unsigned Records
Year: 2009
Buy The Contemporary Soul Songbook Vol. 1 now
On the album "The Contemporary Soul Songbook Volume 1" you will find sixteen soulful tracks. It is a collection of sweet contemporary soul music by sixteen different artists. You will be glad with this album that supplies you with music that you like. Music that seems to have disappeared from the surface.

Luckily enough there are people out there who can compile an album like "The Contemporary Soul Songbook Volume 1". The music you will hear has strong roots with classic soul music and all the artists can really sing whether they were born in Russia, just like Ariana Jane, or in Ghana like Sophia Nelson.

A lovely duet is "Where Do We Go From Here" from Antoinette featuring Howard Hewett. A soulful powerhouse is Woody Cunningham with the track "Never Say Never". Donalds Sheffey who sings "Just Because" will remind of the glory days of Luther Vandross. With "Tongue Tide" from Lisa Zuré you feel the magic and the romance of slow dancing in the discotheque. LeNora Jaye singing "Living For Today" might remind you of Chaka Khan. A sweet R&B flavour you will discover in "At Times" from Razzberry. Sophia Nelson puts a jazzy feel in the sweet song entitled "Over". She has a very pleasant voice to hear. Warm and sweet emotions you will find in "Lost Paradise" from Jua. Ariana Jane with her song "Mirage" feels like it has been inspired by "Careless Whisper" from George Michael. A real funky song comes from South-African based soul woman Nash Reed and is called "Saying Less". Another soulful woman that will catch your attention is Trish Andrews with the highly seductive song "On My Mind". Yes you will remember her.(TA)

Stand Out Tracks: Where Do We Go From Here, Tongue Tide, Never Say Never, On MY Mind, Living For Today, At Times, Over, Just Because, Saying Less

© 2009, SaveOurSoul

Various Artists - Astral 22 presentsImperial Progressive Soul Collection Vol.1 Title: Astral 22 presentsImperial Progressive Soul Collection Vol.1
Artist: Various Artists
Label: Trans Phatt Records
Year: 2009
Buy Astral 22 presentsImperial Progressive Soul Collection Vol.1 now
The first record on Trans Phatt records is entitled "Astral22Imperial Progressive Soul Collection Vol.1". The twelve artists on this album bring you a total of fifteen songs. The producer of this CD is Armand Tulumello.

Some well-known names on "Progessive Soul Collection Vol.1" are those of veteran soul singer Rena Scott and LeNora Jaye a name that lately appears frequently on indepent soul music albums. LeNora Jaye, Fernando Cardo and Katie Cole are the singers with two tracks on the album. Fernando is responsible for background vocals and arrangements on four tracks.

The album "Progessive Soul Collection Vol.1" contains generally a smoother kind of soul music with plenty influences from dance and also disco music. On the track "Back Into The Sun" by Katie Cole we even hear loversrock, sweet music with a soulful reggae beat. The elements of dance music you will discover in tracks like "Ism", the dreamy song "Make Me Wanna Fly" from Shuane with her beautiful voice and in "Imperial Theme". The disco influenced songs are the uptempo and very positive song from LeNora Jaye "A Silent Prayer", "From Me To You" from Shanell Rene'e, the lovely song "Think About It" by Katie Cole and "Starting Over" from Simone which might remind you of the music from the British dance and soul band Imagination. The most soulful song "In This Life" comes from Rena Scott. Another soulful song especially in the way it has been built up is "Do You Wanna" from LeNora Jaye. One of the two male singers on "Progessive Soul Collection Vol.1" is Rogiérs. His beautiful contribution is entitled "The Reason".(TA)

Stand Out Tracks: In This Life, Do You Wanna, Think About It, Starting Over, A Silent Prayer, Back Into The Sun, The Reason

© 2009, SaveOurSoul

Ledisi - Turn Me Loose Title: Turn Me Loose
Artist: Ledisi
Label: Verveforecast
Year: 2009
Buy Turn Me Loose now
The new Ledisi album is called "Turn Me Loose". You will find fourteen tracks on the album. Four of the fourteen tracks contain the word "changes". In only one of these four tracks the changes don't happen because "Love Never Changes".

This album is really different from Ledisi's first album "Lost And Found" on the Verveforcast label. In her own words Ledisi says that on "Turn Me Loose" everything is more aggressive than on "Lost And Found" and that is true.

On "Turn Me Loose" Ledisi has worked with producers like Xavier Mosley a.k.a. Chief Xcel, Rex Rideout, Carl "Chucky" Thompson, Terry Lewis and Raphael Saadiq. The album starts pretty agressive with a raw rock song entitled "Runnin'". This track sounds like a Stephanie McKay song. Another rock song is "Knockin'". More rock and roll and soulful is the beautiful cover of Buddy Miles' "Them Changes". It is a very nice extra track to listen to.

The title track "Turn Me Loose" especially when you hear the first notes might bring in mind "I Heard It Through The Grapevine" from Marvin Gaye. Very delicious and full of soul are the songs "Higher Than This" and "Alone". A sweet song to sing along is "Please Stay" a production from Raphael Saadiq. A jewel of a song is the ballad "Goin'Thru Changes".

Real nice modern R&B songs are "Say No" and "I Need Love". Finally "The Answer To Why" feels so sweet with that authentic gospel feeling it gives to you.(TA)

Stand Out Tracks: Higher Than This, Everything Changes, Alone, Please Stay, Say No, Goin' Thru Changes, I Need Love, The Answer To Why, Them Changes

© 2009, SaveOurSoul

Gianna - Something True Title: Something True
Artist: Gianna
Label: Expansion Records
Year: 2009
Buy Something True now
Her name is Gianna, her voice is beautiful and crystal clear and her debut album is entitled"Something True". The wonderful and meaningful lyrics from nine out of twelve tracks on the album have been written by Gianna herself. You will find such a sweet diversity of melodies and sounds on the album which will do you good.

The album "Something True" starts with a couple of soulful smooth jazz tracks. Besides Gianna's sweet voice you will enjoy the great backing vocals which she has done with Kendall Duffie,the producer,as well. Listen to "In You" to hear it yourself.

Gianna has pennend down some awesome songs. The song "Legacy" is of sheer beauty and if that is not enough she will give you goosebumps in "Beautiful". The lyrics are so beautiful and so recognizable for everyone. It feels like Gianna has written the songs for you personally. The song "Legacy" has the intimacy of Minnie Riperton's "Loving You". But Gianna goes funky too as you will find out in the dance track "Maybe I can Be". She might remind you a little bit of Denice Williams in the title track "Something True". Very soulful and reminiscent of the Stax sound is the track "Things That I Do". You will love the trombone, the horns, the sax and the trumpet in this song where Gianna is bringing it down to you. Here you will notice that she is a Aretha Franklin fan. Another song you will definitely like is "Hooked On You" featuring Kloud9. The strings in this song might remind you of the Love Unlimited Orchestra sound from Barry White. Finally in "One Step Closer" you can put on your dancing shoes because your feet will like to move(TA)

Stand Out Tracks: My Everything, In You, Maybe I Can Be, Legacy, Things That I do, Beautiful, Hooked On You, Time And Tide, One Step Closer

© 2009, SaveOurSoul

Ray Gaskins - A Night in the Life Title: A Night In The Life
Artist: Ray Gaskins
Label: Expansion Records
Year: 2009
Buy A Night In The Life now
Ray Gaskins album on expension records is entitled "A Night In The Life". You will find sixteen tracks on this jazz album including a remix of "Shady Lane". Ray is in good company because his first cousin Jocelyn Brown is one of the artists participating on his album.

Another guest artist you can hear on "A Night In The Life" is Roy Ayers. You feel the night life in a song like "Shady Lane" one of Ray's own compositions. Besides the night life there is plenty of sunshine too as you will notice in Ray Gaskins' interpretation of "Summertime".

The work of the Gershwins is not the only standard on "A Night In The Life". Other jazz standards played by saxophonist and singer Ray Gaskins are "Butterfly" from Herbie Hancock and "Naima" from John Coltrane. His version of Billy Joel's "New York State Of Mind" is a sweet one to listen to. Also "Ashes To Ashes" that you might know from Joe Sample is nice to hear. Ray begins the album with his own work, the instrumental "Ray's Strut". That is a funky groove. In "Crystal Clear" you will discover Ray's voice. This composition of him will remind you a bit of George Benson. A beautiful and steamy jazz song is "Butterfly". In "Lullabye" to which you can cool down you will hear Roy Ayers on vibes. What a sweet song! The saxophones will sweeten your ears. Ray's version of "Naima" sounds more spiced up than the original Coltrane and it might appeal to a broader audience than only the jazz fans. If you are curious to hear Jocelyn Brown sing you have to listen to the duet with Ray "I Want To Talk About God". That is where the gospel comes in. A big contrast with "Shady Lane", where the girls are on the game.(TA)

Stand Out Tracks: Crystal Clear, Butterfly, Lullabye, Naima, Ashes To Ashes, New York State Of Mind, Summertime, Shady Lane

© 2009, SaveOurSoul

Debby Dobbins - Cool And Collected Title: Cool And Collected
Artist: Debbie Dobbins
Label: Spirit Records
Year: 2009
Buy Cool And Collected now
The new Debby Dobbins album is entitled "Cool and Collected". There are thirteen songs on the album including a remix of the wonderful song "A Starry Night In Baghdad". All songs are written by producer Bill Bradford except "Only Love" that is written by Debby and Tony Rominger.

The first track "Love Thief" is a dance version of the same track that already was a stand out track on the album "Reconnection" from 2005. Another song that you might know is "A Starry Night In Baghdad" that was published in 2007. Maybe that's why the album is entitled "Cool and Collected".

It is nice to hear Debby Dobbins sing the song "Cool" that might remind you of "Fever". It is a bit jazzy just as "Can't Help This Feelin'Pt.2" where we can admire guitarist Pat Walters. Besides these cool and jazzy sounds we here plenty soulful music on "Cool and Collected" and also some blues in the song "Don't Let The Sun Set(On A Broken Heart)".

In "Fallin'So In Love With You" we go back to the motown sound of "The Supremes". Also the song "Glad I Found You" will remind you of the days of Martha Revees and The Vandellas. The music was good then and it is still good now when you listen to Debby Dobbins. We also find some Crystal Gayle influence especially of her successful song "Don't It Make My Brown Eyes Blue", in Debby Dobbins' song "Tradin'In The Blues For Love" which is very catchy. One more lovely song from Debby Dobbins that has to be mentioned is "Only Love". You will love it.(TA)

Stand Out Tracks: Love Thief , Fallin'So In Love With You, Glad I Found You, Cool, Only Love, Can't Help This Feelin', A Starry Night In Baghdad, Tradin' In The Blues For Love

© 2009, SaveOurSoul

Amy Serrata - Amy Serrata Title: Amy Serrata
Artist: Amy Serrata
Label: Born To Create Music
Year: 2008
Buy Amy Serrata now
The debut album from Amy Serrata is entitled "Amy Serrata". Besides the introduction track "This Is Me", there are twelve more tracks on the album where you get to knw Amy's music better. On this album Amy Serrata covers a broad range of music styles from Charleston to hip-hop and from jazz to soul.

On the first tracks of the album Amy goes back to the first half of the twentieth century. We are reminded of the souns of the Andrew Sisters when we listen to "Skin", while "Hello World" brings us back to the Charleston period in the early 1920-ies. The second track "Monday Morning" is very jazzy and shines a new light on the first day of the week, a day many people don't like.

You will notice that Amy has an unconventional way of singing. She sounds fresh and she is not limited by anyone to express herself. This contributes to the diversity of music on Amy's self-entiteld album. There is nothing wrong with "Boy meets Girl songs" and how they develop. But it is fresh and interesting to hear songs about other subjects as well. This is what Amy Serrata brilliantly does in a song like "Rooted". Another excellent song about the things we go through every day is "Hello World". Is seems like Amy Serrata only sings meaningful songs. Maybe the reason for this is that Amy is also a poet. Songs like "Yes To Life" and "Lets" are lyrically so strong that they will give you the courage to go on with your life and live together with eachother. It is no coincidence that the song "Love Another" is included on Amy's album. These songs full of soul and hip-hop you will find on the second half of the album. Here you will discover the very funky song "Rooted" as well. A song that will make you feel very strong.(TA)

Stand Out Tracks: Hello World, Skin, Lets, My Baby My Child, Rooted, Yes To Life, Feel For Me, Love Another

© 2009, SaveOurSoul

Hil St. Soul - Release Title: Release
Artist: Hil St. Soul
Label: Dome
Year: 2009
Buy Release now
It is great to hear so much sweet soul music on one album entitled "Release". This album is a collection of the best music from Hil St Soul including her Billboard hits. The title track is a new song.

Previous albums from Hil St Soul are: Organic Soul, Copasetic And Cool,Soulidified and Black Rose. If you like music from Patra, Angie Stone, Dwele, Conya Doss and Ledisi you will surely like Hil St Soul's music too.

Hil St Soul sings the sweetest love songs. All the guys will think that she is addressing them when she sings "Hey Boy". No wonder this song was a Billboard hit. Some caribbean influences you will find in songs like "Don't forget The Ghetto", and "Wash Away". A delicious interpretation by Hil St Soul is the wonderful song "Life" that is written by India.Arie. Another great song about a character we all know , mister know-it-all is "Pieces". To purify your body and mind listen to "Wash Away", you will feel okay. Yes "It's OK" even if the sun don't shine. The acoustic version of Stevie Wonder's "Until You Come Back To Me" is really wonderful.

You, will get very nostalgic listening to "Sweetsest Day". We feel some Baduizm in the catchy song "All That" with it's lovely funky groove. It is a pity when Hil St Soul sings the last song "Goodbye", but if you are lucky to have the album "Release" you can play it one more time.(TA)

Stand Out Tracks: Release, Hey Boy, Don't Forget The Ghetto, Life, Pieces, Wash Away, Until You Come Back To Me, All That, Broken Again, Goodbye

© 2009, SaveOurSoul

Brenda Russell - In the Thick of It: the Best of Brenda Russell Title: In the Thick of It: the Best of Brenda Russell
Artist: Brenda Russell
Label: Dome
Year: 2009
Buy In the Thick of It: the Best of Brenda Russell now
A celebration of music is the album "In The Thick Of It: The Best Of Brenda Russell". On this album you will find some of the finest songs Brenda Russell has written and produced in the past three decades. Did you know that "Get There" from Oleta Adams was written by Brenda?

There is so much good music to be discovered on this album. The liner notes from Brenda Russell herself contain precious information about the art of songwriting and composing music. There are amazing and fantastic stories behind some of the sixteen songs on the album.

The album starts with "Walkin' In New York" a salsa song capturing the spirit of "La Gran Manzana, the Big Apple. More hot sauce is brought to you in "Make You Smile". The passion in "So Good So Right" explains why it became Brenda's first hit. "Get There" is a tender song that comes straight from the heart, which turned it into an evergreen. In "Piano In The Dark" Brenda feels like the female counterpart of the great balladeer Lionel Richie. The sweet song "If Only For One Night" which you might remember from Luther Vandross saw the light on Brenda Russell's piano. Her rendition of this song is just as great as Luther's.

Brenda makes it "A Jazzy Day" with her tribute to Monk, Mingus, Ella Fitzgerald, Dizzy Gillespie and David Sanborn. The latter is featured on "Le Restaurant". The track "To Cool For The Room" feels like jazz just as the title track which is a little funky too. There is a resemblance with Gloria Estefan in the song "Let Somebody Know". You will like the background vocals of this song very much. It's like a gospel choir singing them. Congratulations Brenda Russell!(TA)

Stand Out Tracks: Walkin'In New York, Make You Smile, In The Thick Of It, So Good So Right, Piano In The Dark, Get There, If Only For One Night, Catch On, To Cool For The Room, Let Somebody Know, No Time For Time

© 2009, SaveOurSoul

Various Artists - Soulissime Volume 1 Title: Soulissime Volume 1
Artist: Various Artists
Label: Soulissime
Year: 2009
Buy Soulissime Volume 1 now
A nice occasion to learn more about soul music in France is given to you on the album "Soulissime vol 1". Fresh soul music and urban sounds from Paris and even from French artists around the globe are brought to in nineteen tracks.

When you think of soul music in France you might have in mind Manu Dibango with his "Soul Makossa" or Nina Simone with "Lilac Wine". These are the French classics. The nineties launched MC Solar. The new generation of French soul music you will find on "Soulissime vol 1".

The album "Soulissime" makes a perfect start with the soulful voice of Rycko in "Comment te dire" a song which in its approach might remind you of The Soul Clan's "That's How It Feels". In "Shoobeedoop Song Act 1" from Sabrina Adel you will like her voice, the melody and the organ. This pop song has blues and soul elements. Every country has its own urban identity and that is something you will notice in "L'emmerdeur" from Sandy Cossett.

Hiphop is universal as you will hear in "U&I" from D3CCPT featuring Sly Jonhson and "Je Serai là" which means "I'll Be There" from Kohndo featuring Dwele. The most beautiful flower from the French Ghetto is brought to you in the lovely song "Fleur du Ghetto" in a mix of r&b and hiphop.

Akoma Aya takes you deeper in the French African street-dance tradition with "Créolité Urbaine" featuring Afrosoulicious. Hot r&b comes from Aldrick in "Franchement Tu m'enerves". The sweetest ballad on "Soulissime" might the song "Seul" from Quinze. However Third Shot will bring you a "Sweet Miracle" as well. The jazzy side of france is coming your way in the partly scat song "Out Of My World" from Jaleenah Birdland. Last but not least there is this heartbreaking song "J'voulais Qu'on s'pose" from Monsieur Nov.(TA)

Stand Out Tracks: Comment Te Dire, Shoobeedoop Song Act1, L'emmerdeur, J'voulais Qu'on S'pose, Je serai là, Fleur du Ghetto, Elisa, Franchement tu m'énerves, Sweet Miracle

© 2009, SaveOurSoul

Various Artists - Soul Unsigned Volume 2 Title: Soul Unsigned Volume 2
Artist: Various Artists
Label: Soul Unsigned Records
Year: 2009
Buy Soul Unsigned Volume 2 now
An excellent collection of soul music is out on the album "Soul Unsigned Volume 2". On fourteen tracks you will find a sweet selection of soul music from the Uk, The USA, France, Spain, Norway and even South Africa.

The soulful grooves on "Soul Unsigned Volume 2" go from smooth and sexy to hot and very funky! The band "Destruments" will bring you some jazzy sounds while the last track on the album is a very catchy instrumental from Frank Felix & The F.U. Express called "Club 44".

It feels so "Natural" what Nash Reed from South Africa is doing on the opening track, you will like it. Another sweet sensation comes from Unkle Funkle from Norway and they "Gonna Give It To You". From the streets of Liverpool we have Judderbass featuring Joanna Brown who will keep you dancing in "Everybody Knows". Sean Miranda has some cool and sexy grooves in "Dig It". J-Funk will "Breakthru" with this song and you won't miss it. The best boogie to do is the "Madrid Boogie" as you will hear from Venueconnection from the Spanish capital. They have a little reminder to Michael Jackson in this song. G.L.O. not to be confused with JLo takes us back to the good times with Chic. We hear his sweet guitars and what we also hear is a nod to "Another One Bites The Dust" in the song "Don't Take Me For Granted". Some of the last tracks are really funky and the one that definitely has to be mentioned is "Keep The Funk Alive" from Calumet.(TA)

Stand Out Tracks: Natural, Don't Take Me For Granted, Gonna Give It To You, Everybody Knows, Dig It, Breakthru, Take A Closer Look, Madrid Boogie, Keep The Funk Alive, Club 44

© 2009, SaveOurSoul

Tortured Soul - Did You Miss Me Title: Did You Miss Me
Artist: Tortured Soul
Label: Dome
Year: 2009
Buy Did You Miss Me now
The sophomore album from Tortured Soul is called "Did You Miss Me". There are thirteen tracks on this album from this British band. One of the songs is an instrumental and you will also find an intro to the title track.

Tortured Soul started out as a dance act. On this new album "Did You Miss Me" you can still feel it. The songs are pretty uptempo. It is music you can dance to. Sometimes you are reminded of the disco songs by Shalamar and even George Benson when you hear Tortured Soul. Especially the first track "Home To You", has that "Give Me The Night" idea. The three guys from Tortured Soul must have grown up with The Brothers Johnson's music. You can "Stump" on their music too.

One of the sweetest songs is "Did You Miss Me". It has a pumping beat , a kind of English rock 'n roll. In "Time To Make Up Your Mind" you will hear some caribbean dance grooves. Very dreamy and exotic as well is "We Like Tequila" with it's latin swing. A track that will remind you strongly of eighties dance music is "Another Lover". You just have fun and dance to the beat that goes on and on. The last track "At The Bottom" is a good closure of this album that is meant to get you on the dance floor.(TA)

Stand Out Tracks: Home To You, Did You Miss Me, Another Lover, We Like Tequila, At The Bottom
© 2009, SaveOurSoul

James Day - Natural Things Title: Natural Things
Artist: James Day
Label: Expansion Records
Year: 2009
Buy Natural Things now
James Day has a new album out entitled "Natural Things". On twelve beautiful songs you can admire the skills of this American composer, songwriter and producer.

On "Natural Things" you will hear the sweet and soulful voices of artists like; Mikelyn Roderick, Audrey Wheeler, Tim Owens, Ian Martin, Deanna, Walter Beasley, U-nam, Karen Bernod and Gavin Christopher. There is so many talent on this album.

The album is an excellent mix of r&B and soul and even a touch of jazz. You will even discover a liberating and really catchy dance track on it called "Skin You're In" by Karen Bernod. It is this diversity in music that contributes to the beauty of "Natural Things". Some old-school funk comes from Gavin Christopher in "Outta The Funk" where you can really shake it down. The title track "Natural Thing" is very romantic and brings back memories of "How 'bout us" from Champaigne. You will also feel good listening or dancing to "Sponsored By Love" which might remind you of the better sounds from the eighties.

Other sweet duets are "Happy On Hold" and the luxury soul mix of "Love Makes". Contributions from Mikelyn Roderick to fall in love with are "Speak Love" and the wonderful jazz song "Stormy" which already sounds like a classic.(TA)

Stand Out Tracks: Speak Love, Happy On Hold, Sponsored By Love, Love Makes, Any Kind Of Love, Outta The Funk, Stormy
© 2009, SaveOurSoul

Various Artists - Change Is Now: Renewing America's Promise Title: Change Is Now: Renewing America's Promise
Artist: Various Artists
Label: Hidden Beach
Year: 2009
Buy Change Is Now: Renewing America's Promise now
The official music and video collection of the inauguration of the president and vice president of America is out. This double album is entitled "Change is Now, Renewing America's Promise". It consists of a CD containing eighteen songs by different artists and a DVD containing eight speeches by Barack Obama.

The songs are brought to you by a wide range of artists from the United States of America. You will hear old and young artists sing about hope, a new start, love and unity, and about change. Old artists are people like Stevie Wonder, Lionel Richie and James Taylor. The young one's are singers like Jennifer Hudson, India.Arie and Usher.

On the album you will hear soul music, country music, rock and roll, pop, hiphop and Rhythm-and-Blues. Some of the remarkable songs on the album are "Peace Be Upon Us" from Sheryl Crow featuring Ahmd Al Hirmi, "Change" from Lenny Kravitz, "God is In The People " from Melissa Etheridge, Robin Thicke with "Dreamworld", Usher with "Hush" and Wilco with "What Light".

Besides the CD there is the DVD with the speeches of Barack Obama. This truly is a historic, inspirational and an essential DVD to have. The DVD gives you an inside look of Barack Obama's road to the White House. It starts with his announcement for president of the United States of America on the 10th of february 2007 and ends with his election night victory speech on the 4th of november 2008.

You will be fascinated by Obama's speeches from the beginning to the end. In every speech he addresses a particular subject. In his second speech he talks about his aim to improve health care and education for all Americans. In the third about the liberation from the tyranny of oil, in the fourth Obama introduces the legendary words "Yes We can". His fifth speech is very educational as he speaks about Reverend Jeremiah Wright and gives his vision about racial issues in the USA. Speech number six is in Berlin where Obama encourages the world to tear down the walls between the North and the South, between Christianity and Islam, between the USA and Europe.

In his seventh speech Barack Obama accepts his nomination by The Democratic Party and looks back at the eight years of reign by George W. Bush Jr. In this speech we also learn about individual and mutual responsibility. In his Election Night Victory speech president Obama reaches out to all Americans ensuring them that he will be everybody's president. Obama emphasizes that he is the example that everything is possible in America and that you have to fight block by block and brick by brick to make sure the change is gonna come.(TA)

Stand Out Tracks: A More Perfect Union, The American Promise, Election Night Victory Speech
© 2009, SaveOurSoul

Gemma Genazzano - Si Me Quieres/ If You Love Me Title: Si Me Quieres/ If You Love Me
Artist: Gemma Genazzano
Label: Precious Stone Music
Year: 2009
Buy Si Me Quieres/ If You Love Me now
The debut album from Gemma Genazzano is entitled "Si Me Quieres" with the subtitle "If You Love Me". There are ten tracks on this album which is an interesting mixture of latin soul, funk and jazz.

Gemma Genazzano has written all the songs together with producer Marlon Saunders and guitarist Greg Dayton. The background vocals on the album are coming from: Biti Strauchn, Arif St.Michael and Marlon Saunders who also produced this album.

The CD "Si Me Quieres" is pleasant to listen to because of it's originality. The opening track "Enamorada" is a sweet and sunny love song in the tradition of Astrud Gilberto. A funky soul song with great backing vocals and a sublime horn section is "Take Me Away". The cello and the piano are giving this song some extra jazzy flavour. Plenty love we feel for Curtis Mayfield and Isaacs Hayes in the title track "Si Me Quieres". Gemma gets erotic in "Interlude" like Jane Birkin and Serge Gainsbourg were in "Je t'aime. moi non plus". The intro of "way, Way Down" paves the way for a passionate song full of deep desires.

More soul music is coming your way in "Talk To Me" with it's Mexican feel of a love serenade. Definitely a favourite is the duet "Show Me Who You Are" with special guest Marlon Saunders. The secret of "Secretos" is beside the melancholic voice of Gemma Genazzano also the sound of the cello that fits perfectly with the sound of the guitars and the piano. This song feels like a dream marriage between tango and jazz.(TA)

Stand Out Tracks: Enamorada, Take Me away, Talk To Me, Secretos, Show Me Who You Are
© 2009, SaveOurSoul

Jef Kearns - On the Level Title: On The Level
Artist: Jef Kearns
Label: Jef Kearns
Year: 2008
Buy On The Level now
Jef Kearns is a flautist whose love for soul music is brought to you on his debut album "On The Level". The album contains nine tracks including the subliminal remix from the song "I Wanna Be The One". When did you last hear a flautist in soul music?

An answer to the question above might be in "Spill The Wine" from Eric Burdon and War. If you happen to live in the Benelux you might have heard of flautist Ronald Snijders. There have always been instrumentalists in soul music like saxophonist King Curtis, guitarist Dennis Coffey and flautist Herbie Mann.

Now we have Jef Kearns, a man from the new generation, with his beautiful album "On The Level". After listening to the first track entitled "I Wanna Be The One" you want to hear more of Jef Kearns.

The outstanding "I Wanna Be The One" is a powerful soulful hiphop track that will blow your mind away. The deep romantic flute you will hear in "All Things Gleam". With the flute you can go funky too, yes listen to the funk in "On The Level". It feels a bit like Prince. Colorful and sweet is the instrumental song "Lavender" with its many moods. It certainly will be one of your favorites. Jazzy and soulful is the lovely track "Givin U All I Got". The real jazz however you will completely feel in "Incomplete".(TA)

Stand Out Tracks: I Wanna Be The One, Groove Ballet, All Things Gleam, Lavender, On The Level, Givin'U All I Got
© 2009, SaveOurSoul

Leela James - Let's Do It Again Title: Let's Do It Again
Artist: Leela James
Label: Shanachie
Year: 2009
Buy Let's Do It Again now
The young soul sister Leela James pays honor to soul music on her sophomore album "Let's Do It Again". On eleven modern day tracks recorded in the old fashioned style we go way back in time to soul music. The track "Nobody Wants You When You're Down and Out" even originated in 1923.

We knew Leela James got soul when we heard her debut album "A Change Is Gonna Come" from 2005. On that album the song called "Music" already reminded us that Leela knew her classics. She now fully shares her musical knowlegde with us on "Let's Do It Again".

The album "Let's Do It Again" is educational for the young soul fans and at the same time a walk down memory lane for the more mature fans. As soon as you hear the opening track "Clean Up Woman", you will hurry to your music collection to listen again to Betty Wright. The Rolling Stones fans will dust off their albums searching for the track "Miss You" on the "Some Girls" album from 1978. Leela James also have a great interpretation of Foreigner's song "I want To Know What Love Is". Many a baby was made on the melody of this evergreen. A great tribute to the godfather of soul James Brown is the track "It's a Mans World". On the Phyllis Hyman classic "You Know How To Love Me" arouses a new love when you listen to Leela James' version. Leela has a sweet and clean but yet fairly funky interpretation of the down to the bone funky song "I'd Rather Be With You" from Bootsy Collins. As you have now noticed you will enjoy Leela James and rediscover your classics while listening to "Let's Do It Again". (TA)

Stand Out Tracks: Clean Up Woman, Baby I'm Scared Of You, You Know How To Love Me, I Want To Know What Love Is, I'd Rather Be With You, Simply Beautiful
© 2009, SaveOurSoul

Leon Ware - Leon Ware and Friends Title: Leon Ware and Friends
Artist: Leon Ware
Label: Expansion Records
Year: 2009
Buy Leon Ware and Friends now
A very delicious soul music album called "Leon Ware And Friends" is out now. It is a celebration of almost three decades, starting in the early seventies, of sweet classic soul music composed by Leon Ware for his friends. This document of soul music contains nineteen tracks.

Leon Ware sings on a few tracks on this album. The rest of the tracks he has written or co-written for his friends to sing. His friends are artists of the highest calibre. Amongst these artists you will get to hear: El Debarge, Syreeta, Minnie Ripperton, Donny Hathaway, Bobby Womack, Al Wilson, Thelma Jones, Jerry Butler and many more.

The music on "Leon Ware And Friends" reflects different styles of soul music. On the first track we hear the sound from motown, which remind us of The Four Tops. Another track like "Looking Up To You" from Michael Wycoff might remind you of the times of "I Love Music" by The O'Jays from Philadelphia. There are also reminders of the dance music as brought to you by Vesta Williams in "You Make Me Wanna Love Again". It is so cool to hear Al Wilson sing "You Do The Right Things". El Debarge reminds us of Leon Wares' production for the "I Want You" album from Marvin Gaye when he sings "Heart, Mind & Soul". How nice it is to hear Thelma Jones sing "I Can Dream". A very sweet surprise is Donny Hathaway with "I Know It's You". The same thing to say about "Thank You Early Bird" from Jerry Butler. It feels so good to make friends with "Leon Ware And Friends".(TA)

Stand Out Tracks: What's You World, You Do the Right Things, Heart Mind & Soul, Point Of View,I Know It's You, Girl Girl Girl, Just Don't Make It Hurt,I Can Dream, Thank You early Bird, Looking Up To You
© 2009, SaveOurSoul

Sabrina Starke - Yellow Brick Road Title: Yellow Brick Road
Artist: Sabrina Starke
Label: Blue Note
Year: 2008
Buy Yellow Brick Road now
The debut album of Sabrina Starke is entitled "Yellow Brick Road". Including the intro and outro the album contains twelve soulful tracks. Sabrina Starke lives in the Netherlands, her homeland is Suriname.

It is well-known that many people from Suriname love soul music. Sabrina Starke with roots from this south american country is no exception. Exceptional is that the album "Yellow Brick Road" that Sabrina would release privately has now been released by the Blue Note label.

Sabrina Starke has a great soulful voice. She is one of those singers that bring words alive with a warm, dark and sensuous voice. Although she has her own style her hit song "Do For Love", might remind you in a way of India.Arie. It might be because of the flow in her singing. You will further discover Sabrina's love for Al Green in tracks like "Keep It Simple" and "You Are My Love", pure soul music with a hot horn section.

In "Foolish" we feel some love for Aretha Franklin. Another great song on "Yellow Brick Road" is the uptempo track "It's Time". This track is a musical feast with all the sweet sounds it contains. In "Romeo& Juliet" you will like the claps and humming and also the jazzy feel. If you are curious about soul music from the Netherlands follow the "Yellow Brick Road".(TA)

Stand Out Tracks: Romeo & Juliet, Do For Love, Foolish, Keep It Simple, It's Time, You Are My Love, Yellow Brick Road
© 2009, SaveOurSoul

Heston - Storyteller Title: Storyteller
Artist: Heston
Label: Dome
Year: 2008
Buy Storyteller now
Heston has a lot to tell us on his debut album entitled "Storyteller". It is a full length album containing fifteen songs. Many people know Heston from the song "If" from his EP from 2003. All these people can satisfy their needs for more with Heston's new album.

Heston resides in Atlanta, but he is originally from Dominica. Coming from the caribbean he couldn't escape reggae music. So it is very natural that Heston delivers the nice reggae song "Feel Like Dancing" on his debut CD. Another song to remind us of the sunshine is the slow dancehall soul song "Dreamy Eyes" featuring Angela Johnson. This song has the no woman no cry feel.

Heston however is mostly influenced by soul music from singers like Diana Ross, Aretha Franklin, Donna Summer, Michael Jackson, Al Green, Stevie Wonder and last but not least Marvin Gaye. Maybe that's why Heston wrote a song called "Distant Lover" on his album. By the way he wrote all the songs himself. It is a different song than the one we know from Marvin but you will notice the Gaye influences. Also the track "Brand New You" will remind you of the late great Marvin Gaye.

If someone is capable to remind you of Marvin Gaye he himself must be pretty talented and so is Heston. On "Storyteller"you will enjoy the funky opening song "My Baby". Other uptempo songs are the bluesy "Hello Sunday" and "Sunny Days". A remarkable song is "Good Morning America" about the war in Afghanistan. Sweet soul music is coming to you in songs like: Easy, No Way No How, Radio, and Brand New You. In the song "Like Sunshine" you will remember Otis Redding in the way this song is sung. Most of all you will remember Heston the "Storyteller". (TA)

Stand Out Tracks: My Baby, Distant Lover, Easy, No Way No How, Brand New You, Feel Like Dancing, Good Morning America, Songbirds
© 2009, SaveOurSoul

Soul Evolution - Sonja Grier Title: Soul Evolution
Artist: Sonja Grier
Label: Spirit Records
Year: 2008
Buy Soul Evolution now
The new eight-song collection of Sonja Grier is entitled "Soul Evolution". The songs are written and produced by Bill Bradford. The songs are about us, about love and about our consciousness of the world we live in.

Knowing Bill Bradford you will be aware that you might expect some soulful music on his productions. Your expectations will become reality because once again you will hear soul music that sounds as music to the ear. Although the songs are brand new they still give you that sweet sensation that you know from the sixties and seventies when you used listen to the motwon sound or philisound. They carry on the soul music tradition.

It are not Hollywood dolls or models that happenend to be singing on Bradford's songs but people you can relate to. When Sonja Grier sings "Been In The Storm Too Long" you feel she is from flesh and blood. In "Said I'm Sorry", you will notice that we are living in the twenty-first century, because of the witty metaphors Sonja Grier uses. The track "Take Another Chance" might remind you of the great Dusty Springfield. A track full of fighting spirit is the opening song "Run For Cover". In a world of scarce resources it is good to listen to the song "Reverse Evolution". In this song you will find out that you don't have to be a victim but that you can make a change. "Said I'm Sorry" will definitely be one of your favourites.If you hesitated to dance on it the first time, listen to the extended mix and your hesitation will soon be gone!(TA)

Stand Out Tracks: Said Im Sorry, Been In The Storm Too Long, Right Here Right Now, Take Another Chance, Can't Hold Back
© 2009, SaveOurSoul

Dionyza - Quite Like Me Title: Quite Like Me
Artist: Dionyza
Label: Little Dizzy Records
Year: 2008
Buy Quite Like Me now
Dionyza has a lovely debut album out entitled "Quite Like Me". In ten songs the daughter of former motown songwriters duo Brenda and Michael B. Sutton demonstrates that she herself is a very talented singer songwriter. On "Quite Like Me" you will find out that Dionyza is quite like you.

The feelings and emotions that go along with love are vividly transformed into songs that make the heart beat faster. In Dionyza's songs you will recognise sweet sensations and situations of love and cravings that you've been through as well. The thing is that Dionyza sings about it passionately where you might only think about it.

We all know the yearning for a love that has been so sweet but that you just can't keep because it does not work.Still you long for the sensation of how it used to be and that is what "I Told Myself" the first track is about. We also know we would do anything even if it's dangerous or "If It Kills" to be with the one you love. You will love the way that this song "If It Kills" builds up to take you to the top of it, to the clue. Nothing is sweeter than to hear your lover say "Give It To Me", which is the title of the fourth track of "Quite Like Me". Although love can be stormy you sometimes have to be patient as we find out in the mellow R&B song "Waiting".

The music on "Quite Like Me" is contemporary R&B with hiphop influences, but still very distinctive from the daily stuff you hear everyday on your radio. Dionyza uses her creativity to bring you something fresh and something extra. "Today Soon Be Yesterday" is an excellent ballad and you will surely like the duet "If This Could Be Love" with Timothy Bloom too. The song "Stir It Up" has the feel of the Shannon hit "Let The Music Play", it is one to dance to and strongly synthesizer driven. In "Practice Makes Perfect" you find a touch of Macy Gray when you hear Dionyza's voice and a touch of "Tonight is The Night" from Betty Wright when you hear the groove.(TA)

Stand Out Tracks: I Told Myself, If It Kills, Give It To Me, Stir It Up, Today Will Soon Be Yesterday, If This Could Be Love, Practice Makes Perfect
© 2009, SaveOurSoul