8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Poppy Soul Power, baby!,
This review is from: Fried (Audio CD)
I totally agree with Michael from Leeds' review, but don't let the Morcheeba comparisons put you off!
I simply cannot get this CD out of my discman and have played it on repeat for weeks! My Dad got me into this after he heard the "When You Get Out of Jail" track, and I must admit, it didn't grab me straight away. However, the album is laden with poppy soulful classics and is definitely a "grower". It's basically the pet project of the Fine Young Cannibals guitarist, David Steele (as mentioned in all the Amazon reviews) where he produced the music using guitars, samples and hip hop drum beats, and what you get is a modern hip-hop twist on Motown soul. And it really works.
The production is absolutely perfect - slight scratching sounds in the mix only add to the classic soul/vinyl feel! And it showcases the fantastic vocals of Jonte Short, which are the icing on the cake here. Apparently Steele was looking for a sassy soulful Aretha Franklin wannabe to do the vocals, and he hunted high and low in the UK and the States. The effort was worth it - he's unearthed a real talent in this lady. Plenty of gospel-honed oomph, great control and breathing and she puts a whole lot of emotion in the lyrics.
Standout tunes for me are "Whatever I Choose I Lose" (the 2nd single, a Motown-y sighing lament/shrug of the shoulders about being unlucky in love, sung over a looped guitar riff, and with a great beat) and "Sugar Water Days" (a barnstorming perky pop tune reminiscing about childhood with ace multi-tracked harmonies).
This is quite simply one of the best pop albums of the past 10 years and comes highly recommended.