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22 Reviews
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sureal it is not.........
I am a total fan of Incognitos early work and periodical buy their albums. So not having bought all of them I couldn't tell you how it compares to their back catalogue, but I know a good album when I hear one and this is as good as any I have heard. I didn't know what to expect and was not disappointed, its all good and the tempo is very fulfilling. I am not a lover of...
Published 21 months ago by Andy Mooring

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars proceed with caution, fellow Incognito fans..
I have not bought an Incognito album in too long. On a nostalgic whim I bought the latest 'Surreal'. It's growing on me. Perhaps I am still stuck in their early brilliant offerings. Anything Incognito does is worth several listens before judgement. But, although the musicianship and vocals are top-notch (including the wonderful Maysa Leak), something is missing in this...
Published on 8 April 2012 by Clare


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sureal it is not........., 29 Jun 2012
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This review is from: Surreal (Audio CD)
I am a total fan of Incognitos early work and periodical buy their albums. So not having bought all of them I couldn't tell you how it compares to their back catalogue, but I know a good album when I hear one and this is as good as any I have heard. I didn't know what to expect and was not disappointed, its all good and the tempo is very fulfilling. I am not a lover of ballards & slow love songs so I am very pleased that this album contains none of the above. My first hearing of "Sureal" was in the car on a sunny day and it sounded perfect. My advise, find a sunny breezy place to chill for a couple of hours and listen to this.

Don't know why it is called "Surreal", and I am fairly sure it dosen't matter, but I bought this expecting an Incognito album and thats exactly what I got, nice one.

Go on treat yourself.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great music, disappointing sound quality, 4 April 2012
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This review is from: Surreal (Audio CD)
Played this CD for the first time 3 days ago. I now have 11 of their albums, so was expecting a lot of Surreal. Unfortunately the sound quality spoilt the experience.
To make sure I wasn't just having a bad day, I played Tales from the Beach and Eleven to compare and can only conclude that either the mix was a rushed job or the CD is faulty.
It not that the sound is completely appalling. It just isn't very hi-fidelity and sounds like it's playing through someone's IPOD.
That said, the new personnel show great promise and the musicians excel as usual. Incognito will probably keep going for another 30 years at this rate. It's just not a 5 star product.
Perhaps I should consider buying another copy, or even vinyl? Answers on a postcard please.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Inspired transition...., 28 Mar 2012
By 
Alistair Moom (Glasgow, Scotland) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Surreal (Audio CD)
* * * and half.

After collaborating with the likes of Chaka Khan, spoken word artist Ursula Rucker, and Italian soul singer Mario Biondi on 2010's Transatlantic RPM, British acid jazz pioneers Incognito hand over the vocal reins to a younger crowd for their 15th studio album, "Surreal".
It's an inspired move showing that, 30 years on from their debut album, bandleader Jean-Paul "Bluey" Maunick still has his finger on the pulse.
While longtime singers Maysa and Vanessa Haynes remain a vital part of the setup, the former kicking off proceedings in style with the bass-driven funk of "The Less You Know", the latter channeling the divas of the Studio 54 era on a cover of Queen Yahna's '70s cult disco classic "Ain't It Time", it's the new recruits who steal the show.
German-born vocalist Mo Brandis displays a maturity and soulfulness far beyond his 26 years on the John Legend-esque lead single "Goodbye to Yesterday" and the summery jazz of "Don't Wanna Know", while Ronnie Scott's regular Natalie Williams justifies the Erykah Badu/Jill Scott comparisons on the gorgeously slinky chillout of "Restless as We Are" and the dreamy bossa nova of "The Stars from Here".
If they can hang on to this highly talented lineup, then Incognito's future appears to be in very safe hands indeed. J. O'Brien

HOT SUMMER NIGHTS
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incognito - Surreal, 26 Mar 2012
By 
F. Rose "Fern" (Basingstoke) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Surreal (Audio CD)
This is one amazing album and I'm not just saying that becuase I'm a fan.

The tracks move from classic Incognito Jazz Funk to the Boogie style and old school flavours.

If you buy this album for one track you have made a wise choice.

Feel free to join the group on facebook [...]
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Organic, funky and irrestible!, 26 Mar 2012
By 
CJ Mann "cJlovesJazz" (Manchester, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Surreal (Audio CD)
I'll nail my colours to the mast right away and say that I'm always excited to hear a new Incognito CD. Having been a fan since 1981 and having had the pleasure of interviewing leader Bluey a few years ago, my love of this band's music shows no signs of waning.

So, it's 2012 and instead of having a piece of vinyl to cherish, I have a download courtesy of Shanachie Records to carefully file and write about.

Let's jump straight in and ride the incredible groove of `The Less you Know'. I don't have musician credits but I don't need them to recognise the silky, sexy voice of Maysa Leak and I don't think she has ever sounded better. The production is flawless with lots of room for drums, bass, snazzy horns and that gorgeous vocal. The breakdown makes the hairs on my neck stand up! And when the JB-style snare snaps in to announce `Goodbye to Yesterday' it's clear that the dancing is set to continue. A male lead vocal, some sneaky rhythm guitar and some even sneakier horns and you've got a recipe for success.

That piano intro on `Above the Night' has a lovely old-school feel and the tempo is more relaxed than on the first two songs. The horns are more muted too and they leave the spotlight for some truly outstanding female vocals. This time it's not Maysa but, whoever she is, this girl can sing! The title track is - I'm going to say it - a hark back to the golden days of disco. That four-on-the-floor beat, great keys, great horns, strings and the lushest of background vocals just sweep you away. A real good-time dance track. God... lovely.

Right in the pocket is the lovely, funky `Capricorn Sun' which shines the spotlight on Maysa. I love the groove, I love her scat vocals - I love it!! `Don't Wanna Know' is a pacy vocal with some strong male lead vocals. It's got a great, catchy chorus too - how does Bluey keep doing it?

I love the moody intro to the chunky `Restless as we Are'. The female vocals are very sweet and this song really does get under your skin. The keyboards are offbeat and really grab your attention. The instrumental `Rivers on the Sun' is a busy slice of classic jazz-funk in the way that Incognito does better than pretty much everyone. Once the trombone solo kicks in, it's all over - resistance is futile!

The lazy `Don't Break me Down' takes you back into vocal territory and lets you get your breath back. It's one of several songs on this CD that I feel I'll be listening to happily for years to come... `The Stars from Here' is a short and sweet Latin-influenced number which has the prettiest, most romantic feel.

The lush intro to `To Be With You' belies the energy that's coming along in another 6-minute uptempo groover. Played as the second song in a live set, this would stun people. It's up, up, up all the way. Let's hear the drums kick on `This Must be Love'. This funky vocal track would make great single material.

Sinewy bassline, stabbing but controlled horns, dancing percussion - who gives you all this every time out? Incognito. `The Way you Love' for me sums up the way this band combines the best of old-school feel and modern production values to provide an intoxicating experience for the head and feet. Lord, I got carried away there! The album ends on the same groovy note that it began with the almost unbearably tight `Thoughtful Fantasies'. This bouncy instrumental has great soprano sax, trombone and keyboard solos. Check the percussion breakdown too. The mix sounds `live' and if the band perform this on their current tour, folks will go nuts!

Ah people - if you love Incognito, this will be manna for your soul. It's exotic, familiar, soothing and exhilarating all at the same time. If you don't love Incognito, well it's time you did. You have a lot of catching up to do...
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5.0 out of 5 stars Return to funky form, 28 Mar 2014
By 
M. Perrins - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Surreal (Audio CD)
My favourite Incognito album for a long time. Stands alongside funky classics like 100* and Rising and Positivity. Great bass playing.
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5.0 out of 5 stars fab, 19 Sep 2013
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This review is from: Surreal (Audio CD)
Wow what a great album, a must for all Ingonito lovers, Easy listening and reminds me of very classical incognito.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Typically Brilliant., 31 July 2013
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This review is from: Surreal (Audio CD)
If you have at any time liked Incognito then this album is a must.
Worth buying for The way you love alone. Real Chic feel but that's not a bad thing.
Off next week for concert 13 or is it 14
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5.0 out of 5 stars superb album, 21 May 2013
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This review is from: Surreal (Audio CD)
been an incognito fan for years but this album surpassed all expectations. so good \I actually bought two copies of it!! lovers of jazz funk you wont go wrong with this album. bluie and the gang rock!
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4.0 out of 5 stars stunning bass line, 20 May 2013
By 
This review is from: Surreal (Audio CD)
The bass line on The Way You Love is surreal! Never has so much groove been injected into a bass guitar. Sensational. Best track on the album by a mile.
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