I'll always throw in some UK soul into the mix. This is an album that will hit the States next year and will sell lots even if the record company is incompetent. Tell others that I hipped you to this before everyone got into it. The blurb:
The result of a five year search by former Fine Young Cannibals songwriter David Steele to find the perfect singer, Fried combines Steele's undeniable talents with that of 23-year old New Orleans gospel singer Jonte Short.
People will compare Jonte's voice to Macy Gray if only because it's so different from the norm. But it's nothing like Macy or Aretha Franklin or anyone else that you've heard. It's angular and it's salty and I love it. The arrangements are great, it's like a great Al Green or Sam Cooke album that your mum would be singing in the shower, or when she came home and took her shoes off. A musical massage ala Leon Ware.
Like Sade, the first lady of soul is back and it's an event. In the same way that I'll kill for a good Alexander O'Neal or Cherelle album, I run to my record store (actually its the Amazon.com One-Click thing) and buy an Anita Baker joint sight unseen (hearing unheard?). A decade since her last release, she comes back with ten new classics. Thankfully this is not your easy listening or smooth jazz deal, this is a real Anita Baker soul album.
'Nuff said: it's great, go buy it.
In the tradition of Fela, this New York Afro-beat collective bring acerbic social and political commentary (on Bush, Ashcroft, Imperialism) laced with funk, salsa and the infectious African groove. Sharp percussion and horns blend into something that grows on you immediately. 70 minutes of fun, of humour, of dance music. There are shifting beats and shifting tempos like those old highlife albums from the 50s. Musical inventiveness pervades the piece; you won't be able to sit down. About the only thing flaw is the lack of some female voices in the call and response. James Brown may have had Bobby Bland singing Git on Up, but he also knew that you needed some Memphis Soul babes in the background. Fela, Femi Kuti, not to mention Koffi Olomide tour with with electic female dancers and backing singers. It's not just eye candy or showmanship; it informs the tenor of the performance. Where are your girlfriends, fellas?