Customer Review

15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good stuff, but the results are delightfully predictable., 4 April 2012
This review is from: Look Around The Corner (Audio CD)
* * * and half.

On paper, it's an amazing idea: get British retro-soul diva Alice Russell into the studio with her compatriot and fellow legend of old-school grooves Quantic, and see what happens.
To some degree, the results are delightfully predictable: Quantic is great at putting together vintage funk and Latin musical concepts and recording them in such a way that you have to double-check to make sure the tracks weren't laid down 40 years ago.
And at its best, this album draws on classic sounds and arrangements but creates something new and wonderful with them.
The horns (and flute) on "Magdalena" perfectly complement Russell's powerful voice, "Travelling Song" is a gorgeous piece of minor-key soul, and "I'd Cry" is a similarly lovely romantic plea in a Latin-soul style.
When the album isn't at its best, though, it falls prey to the temptation of sonic verisimilitude, as if what made 1960s soul music great was the fact that drums tended to be poorly miked ("Look Around the Corner") and pianos not always perfectly tuned ("I'll Keep My Light in My Window").
More serious, though, is the fundamental artistic mismatch that gradually becomes clear: Russell's powerhouse voice is not used to best advantage on the lightly dancing Latin-soul grooves that are Quantic's strength, and so on a number of tracks it sounds as if she's a racehorse being kept to a trot.
That's not enough to keep this from being a very good album, but it prevents it from being a great one. R. Anderson
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Comments

Tracked by 2 customers

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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 23 Apr 2012 21:07:41 BDT
grabme says:
Lets just be thankful that at last we are hearing some real music from real musicians. I can't fault the album for listening pleasure and that's all that matters to me.

Posted on 26 Feb 2013 09:27:21 GMT
"Poorly miked" is a subjective term. To these ears, there is nothing worse than a kit which is close-mic'd all the way round. Listen to Celso Fonseca's version of Baden Powell's Consolação and you will hear something similar to the Quantic approach.

And as for tuning - a most over-rated virtue. All the magic is between the notes.
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