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A Soul Easy in its Skin
on 27 February 2003
'Welcome to the coloured section' sings Donnie, welcome indeed. This album of harmonic soul is an essay on what it is to play in the 'negro league' in present day America. It isn't the pained anger of Marvin Gaye's 'What's Going On' or the in-your-face protestation of Isaac Hayes, it's something more relaxed in its skin. Though the album shares the texture of Gaye and Haye's work, it is beautifully produced and rich with bass and rhythm. Donnie is talking to those in the coloured section and to those just visiting, esp. when he states 'I'm not a nigger, I'm negro. When I become a nigger, I'll tell you so.' (got that Samuel L Jackson).
And there's the issue of women, well, isn't there always. Some jumping grooves going on, yeah, literally, on this CD. It's intelligent, unflustered and hip-swaying stuff. It'll appeal to those who enjoy Shuggie Otis and the Disposable Heroes and US3-like jazz lifts. It's the direction you'd hope the maturing fans of Blue and their ilk might go, turning from liquids to solids, this wouldn't be inaccessible to their impoverished minds and it would open up astonishing soul vistas. It's sweet, give it a spin.