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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A classy return
Finally it's out! - the long awaited new album from Te Brand New Heavies. I haven't stopped playing it. Tracks like Sunlight, On the one and Lights have been ON REPEAT! At first I was very disappointed to see that long-time Heavies vocalist N'dea Davenport only featured on 3 (yes - 3!!) of the album's 14 tracks. I thought this album was going be another BNH and N'dea...
Published 15 months ago by J. Taylor

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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A bit disappointed
Finally the new album of the BNH has been released. As an admirer of their very funky music I just had to buy the CD. Especially having N'Dea Davenport back in the band. However, the songs are not bad but if you are looking for music that makes you want to sing and dance this might be not the right choice for you.
I am buying CDs to a) support the musicians and b)...
Published 15 months ago by Martin O.


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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A classy return, 13 May 2013
By 
J. Taylor "chicoeldivo" (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Forward (Audio CD)
Finally it's out! - the long awaited new album from Te Brand New Heavies. I haven't stopped playing it. Tracks like Sunlight, On the one and Lights have been ON REPEAT! At first I was very disappointed to see that long-time Heavies vocalist N'dea Davenport only featured on 3 (yes - 3!!) of the album's 14 tracks. I thought this album was going be another BNH and N'dea collaboration but clearly things changed along the way. It's hard because for a lot of fans, N'dea is THE vocalist for the BNH. For sure, she is the voice of their biggest hits and she fronted the band during their peak years in the 90s and again for the last big comeback in 2006 on Get used to it. The Brother Sister album is one of my favourite albums of all time, so I suppose I was wishing for a comeback album that would hit that golden standard. For me, the BNH + N'dea = magic. Preview tracks Sunlight and Addicted were misleading because although they feature N'dea on vocals, they don't represent the project as a whole. Aside from those 2 sterling collaborations, N'dea only features on one more track, Do you remember. On top of that, N'dea didn't show at the big Koko gig in Camden last week, so it appears at this stage that their on-off relationship is somewhat off again - which is a shame.
However, the music on the new album is b r i l l i a n t and I am very impressed. Of course, I love the N'dea tracks the most. "Sunlight" is the best! -A gorgeous, uplifting 7 minute slice of old school disco, which is as good as any of their classic hits like Dream come true. The first half of the album follows the traditional Heavies pattern with infectious instrumental funk workouts like the title track "Forward", the sparkling N'dea collaborations and the catchy Jan Kincaid sung "On the one". The 2nd half of the album introduces new vocalist Dawn Joseph. "Lifestyle" is warm and funky and the vocals are dreamy and smooth. However, my favourite Dawn track is "Lights" - with a gorgeous bridge that lifts up high before dropping down into a funky, retro chorus that harks back to the Carleen Anderson assisted Saturday nite. Then there's that classic Heavies sound again on the mostly instrumental workout "Turn the music up" -with the trumpets, the bass, the funky guitars and the repeated vocal line Turn it up, shake it down. Jan is back on the upbeat "Heaven" and the slower, dreamy closing track "One more for the road". I like Jan's vocals. The whole BNH experience is timeless and the Jan tracks are just as good as when he did Shelter. There is something for everyone here. The only tracks that I struggle a bit with are the Simon-sung tracks "The way it goes" and the reggae-fused "Spice of life". Its nice to see Simon step up to the mic :) but ... he's not a strong singer.
All in all, I LOVE the new album and the diversity of tracks. I haven't stopped playing it and I feel like it's going to be the soundtrack of my summer. Long live The Brand New Heavies!

N'dea tracks: Sunlight, Do you remember, Addicted
Dawn tracks: A little funk in your pocket, Lifestyle, Lights
Jan tracks: On the one, Heaven, One more for the road
Simon tracks: The way it goes, Spice of life
Instrumental tracks: Forward, Itzine, Turn the music up
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The wait is finally over!!, 14 Aug 2013
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This review is from: Forward (Audio CD)
What an album....
I bought this when it was released a couple of months ago & have played several times since.
This album is like a fine wine- the more you sample, the better it becomes.
BNH have certainly expressed their musical excellence with a marvellous combination of funky dance tracks, superb instrumentals (Itzine, Forward)together with a brilliant re-working of the 80s classic from Players Association.
Other stand out tracks for me are Addicted, Heaven and Sunlight.. My only doubtful track is Spice of Life.
Great album & well overdue from BNH.
Lets hope the next one is quicker!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Compendium of Funk Bass Lines., 31 July 2013
By 
Bruce "from Brighton" (UK - England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
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This review is from: Forward (Audio CD)
It's been a while since we have had a new album, but this is certainly back to their best and while it's not groundbreaking or cutting edge - this is great fun music, that makes you want to dance, while retaining an air of sophistication.

Production is wonderful and everything sounds like the best from this genre - whether it's funk, disco, R&B, reggae and many other dance music styles - but all done with a real live band, who have the experience and skill to pull off anything that they attempt.

There are a variety of vocalists who all sound distinctive and stylish - much is made of the return of N'Dea Davenport, who only sings on a few tracks but the others are just as good and it all adds up to a feel of being like a summary of their career so far - much like Incognito's Transatlantic RPM was for them.

What stands out for me though are Andrew Levy's bass lines, which cut through every mix and add a distinctive groove. He has to be one of the best bass players working in this genre anywhere and his sound/tone, imaginative note choices and rhythmic placement are excellent. Every track is like a lesson in funk bass of the last 40 years.

"On the One" sounds familiar already and has been played a lot on the radio - especially Jazz FM. While many other tracks feel like they are covers of tracks from the golden era of dance music - "Turn the Music Up" is actually a cover of a hit by the Players Association from the late 70s - but once again, livened up by fantastic bass playing.

Overall a great-sounding album with many stand-out grooves, that is just great fun. Recommended for lovers of old-school funk and R&B.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars BNH back with a bang., 17 Jun 2013
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This review is from: Forward (Audio CD)
This is the BNH's best album since Shelter, with a uptempo vibe across most of the tracks. My favourite standout tracks are Forward, Sunlight and Addicted.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I agree with J. Taylor "chicoeldivo":s review!, 4 Jun 2013
This review is from: Forward (Audio CD)
I agree with J. Taylor "chicoeldivo":s review! I was expecting N'Dea's vocals on some more tracks more! I like Jan's vocals on "One more for the road" very much, but the Heavies really need N'Dea. I also agree with another reviewer that the booklet is kind of useless and has not much to offer. I also got it signed through Pledge Music, but I miss N'Dea's signature.
It's a good CD but I had been waiting a long time and expected more.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A bit disappointed, 19 May 2013
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This review is from: Forward (Audio CD)
Finally the new album of the BNH has been released. As an admirer of their very funky music I just had to buy the CD. Especially having N'Dea Davenport back in the band. However, the songs are not bad but if you are looking for music that makes you want to sing and dance this might be not the right choice for you.
I am buying CDs to a) support the musicians and b) for the booklet. The booklet has nothing to offer but the thanks from the band members. No lyrics, no pictures, no extra stuff.

If you are a real BNH fan you will still love this purchase.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 11 July 2014
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This review is from: Forward (Audio CD)
It's great!
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5.0 out of 5 stars These guys are awesome, 3 Feb 2014
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This review is from: Forward (Audio CD)
Just get better & better this band. Great new album really back to the great jazz funk sounds they are renown for. Keep it up guys...
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous!, 22 Jan 2014
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This review is from: Forward (Audio CD)
This is the Heavies back to their funky best! Disappointed N'dea Davenport doesn't feature more, but when she does, she's awesome, particularly on Addicted, best track by far. Top class.
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4.0 out of 5 stars forward thinking..., 20 Jan 2014
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Ok, so these guys don't have the hits they one had or have the same "profile" from back in the day. But does this new release move them "forward"? To these ears...Yes! Hooks aplenty, tight grooves, smooth production & the odd cheeky moment make this a worthy addition to your Funk/soul collection. Standout tunes include the Disco homage "Sunlight", the slinky "A little funk in your pocket", 80's soul inspired "Do you remember" & bass riffing instrumental "Itzine". Yes, after 25 years the Heavies are definitely still in the move...
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