NENEH CHERRY - BLANK PROJECT
Neneh Cherry's Blank Project is her first solo album in 16 years - a collaboration with RocketNumberNine, produced by Four Tet, and featuring a guest appearance by Robyn. While her energy and demeanor may not have changed since the days of Rip Rig + Panic, musically, Blank Project is a departure from anything Neneh has previously done and was initially written as a means of working through personal tragedy. What stands out upon first listen is the album's sparseness: loose drums and a few synthesizers are the only accompaniment to Neneh's wildly poetic, soul-flooded and raw vocals. Featuring combined elements of beat poetry, avant-electronica and beautiful vocal melodies, it's a record that uses simple ideas to create something entirely original.
Neneh will perform at Rough Trade East in London on Tuesday evening 2/25, as well as a sold out London show at Concrete on Wednesday 2/26. ~ giantstep
A killer batch of 70s soul – all pulled from the vaults of Invictus/Hot Wax Records! The tunes here represent a great evolution of Detroit Soul in the second decade – a shift of the energy of the Holland-Dozier-Holland team away from Motown music, and into a headier realm with a host of new artists. Yet there's also a tight core of dancefloor grooving on most numbers – those tight rhythms mixed with impeccable production that the trio first brought to soul in the 60s. Some tunes here are familiar, others are nicely obscure – and really make for a nice sense of variety in the set – a list of titles that includes "Can't Get Enough Of You" by Tyrone Edwards, "Ace In The Hole" by Honey Cone, "Love & Liberty" by Laura Lee, "That's Love" by The Hi-Lite, "VIP" by Scherrie Payne, "Hey There Lonely Girl" by Ty Hunter, "Love Machine (part 1)" by McKinley Jackon & The Politicians, and "Frightened Girl" by The Silent Majority. ~ Dusty Groove
PATTI LABELLE - RELEASED
A real standout in the early solo years of Patti Labelle – and a great set that reunites the singer with New Orleans legend Allen Toussaint – who'd previously worked some magic with Patti and the Labelle trio! Toussaint really grounds Patti's vocals wonderfully – giving them a solid footing that moves past the pop and disco of previous records, but which also doesn't just resort to New Orleans cliches, either. Either Toussaint or Labelle wrote most of the songs on the record – and together, they find a fresh batch of material that really helps establish the singers as one of the greatest female voices in soul. The whole album's a classic – well-balanced between mellow and upbeat numbers – and titles include "Find The Love", "Get Ready", "Give It Up", "Release", "I Don't Go Shopping", "Ain't That Enough", and "Don't Make Your Angel Cry". CD features a bonus track – "Release (The Tension) (12" disco mix)". ~ Dusty Groove