The eight-track EP released September 2016 by Soles of Passion exposes listeners to a side very different from their previous release, Escape from Jurisdiction B. Built on delicate female vocals, electric guitar, acoustic guitar, and drums for the most part—with the help of keyboards in some of the songs—their more recent work can comfortably be filed under adult contemporary or gentle pop rock with hints of country flair.
The musicianship on Bump Me Up is solid, with artists not just clearly comfortable with their instrument of choice, but seeming to have a lot of fun. The melodies vary from track to track but manage to remain within a sound that becomes quite familiar by the time the last number in the set comes to a close. All songs are midtempo, albeit some of them in the upper range while others are in the lower spectrum.
Half the tracks on this EP are of the adult contemporary genre. They are all comforting, what with the female vocals staying on the delicate side – they would do well as background music in an office during a busy workday. Driven by an electric guitar, “Hold On” retains a very steady rhythm, style, and sound throughout its run, with no inflections or changes. “Bump Me Up” has a hint of attitude to its melody, while the more energetic “Change Up” has something of Tom Cochrane’s “Life Is a Highway” to it (albeit without the harmonica). “On My Own” is the most soothing of the four. The electric guitar stands out on this number, playing a melody that comes off almost like a second set of vocals with its own story to tell.
There is definitely something of Madonna’s “Vogue” in the first moments of “Cow Girl Bling”, which, come to think about it, is quite à propos, seeing the title of the track. It’s quite fitting that this number is one of two pop rock adult contemporary contributions to the EP, with both having a 1980s electronic feel to it. The second such number, “Feels Good”, has—again, in quite an appropriate reflection to its title—quite a bit of energy.
The band’s love for country comes through the most in two specific songs. It makes listeners think not of the French capital when listening to “Paris” but rather of the city of the same name in Texas. The drum-driven “Got Me Surrounded” has a certain sass to the vocals that makes listeners wonder what else the band just might have in store.