2012 has delivered some essential albums already - Eric Benet, Cool Million, R Kelly and now this - a new set from the Sunburst Band. My verdict? Basically if you like jazz, funk, boogie, disco then you need "Secret Life Of Us" in your life immediately. From beginning to end it's non-stop quality grooves with some lovely vocals - and not one duff cut!! Rarely do I listen to an album twice in a row these days, but once I got to the end of "Secret..." that's exactly what I did. Full marks to Sunburst Band, we need more music like this.
The new Sunburst album - 'The Secret Life Of Us' is faultless. The more I listen to it, the further it gets under my skin - it's already up there in my top ten and I strongly advise you to add this CD to your record collection.
To give you a flavour of each track;
Track 1 - 'In The Thick Of It' - This is a stylish cover that sets the tone for the rest of the album. From the first bass cord progression, it builds into a lush production that just makes you want to move your feet. Angela Johnson's vocals are sublime on this track. Loved the original, love this. (Check out the Brazilian funk hook!)
Track 2 - 'Why Wait For Tomorrow'' - trademark Pete Simpson - his silky smooth vocals caress you and carry you away on this track. Again, the slick bouncy arrangements (which are the hallmark of this band), make this anthemic track a real winner.
Track 3 - 'My Way' - This infectious track will get under your skin and I defy you not to move to this! A ballsy chorus coupled with verses of dreamlike quality during which Diane Charlemagne smooches her way through the lyrics. Lovely transition into the keys to sign the track off.
Track 4 - 'Jazz The DMX' - Written by the Hip Hop Artist Davy DMX, this track has a bassline in full effect - amplified over an harmonic track of a hypnotic drum beats and Michele Chiavarini's and Dave Lee's expansive keys. This instrumental hits you right between the eyes and leaves you wanting more!
Track 5 - 'Easy Come, Easy Go' - This track is classic Sunburst (think New York City Woman meets Garden of Love) - two minutes of musical heaven!
Track 6 'Where The Lights Meet The Music' - Damien guests on this track to full effect! A soulful and infectious number with an instrumental break to die for! (3:36 minutes in - heaven!!)
Track 7 - 'The Secret Life Of Us' - The title track is a homage to Chic that could have been penned by Nile Rogers and Bernard Edwards themselves. This slick little number is destined to be a dance floor filler and has 'Hit' written all over it. Donna Gardier also makes a welcome return on this track alongside Diane Charlemagne. Makes me shiver every time I hear it!
Track 8 - 'Caught In The Moment' - Reminiscent of the Average White Band. Just a beautiful song. Builds with the trademark Sunburst sound. Love it!
Track 9 - 'Opus De Soul' - lays bare the fundamental basis behind the band - producing soulful, sun-kissed music to transport the listener away and this track ticks all of the boxes. Tony Remy's guitar work, horns, what more do you need?
Track 10 - 'Trust Me' - One of my favourite tracks off the album, this number is down and dirty with smouldering vocals provided by Vivienne McKone. It just makes you want to move. Period.
Track 11 - 'Educated Funk' - Classic Sunburst - large, expansive and it just takes you away! Nice little touch by Julian Crampton and Tim Camsfield at the end to sign this track off.
Track 12 - 'Take It To The Top' - Old skool funk given the Sunburst treatment. Trademark vocals provided by Noelle Scaggs (The Rebirth). Just love it!
Track 13 - 'Taste The Groove' - An electro dance masterpiece with a dirty baseline hook. Check out Tony Remy's vocals on the vocoder :)
Track 14 - 'Definition Of Luv' - This number has Joey Negro's mark all over it. Diane Charlemagne's vocals on this track are sublime as are the keys, provided this time by Alex Bennett - a pulsating dancer and a modern love song.
Track 15 - 'Love One Another' - Joey's message to the world to round this fantastic album off - Amen to that!
But hey! Don't just take my word for it, go buy a copy - you won't regret it - a real feel-good album and a must have. It is definitely up there with their best - just love it!
Was browsing though Amazon this afternoon and this came up in my recommendations - downloaded straight away!! Usually I would like to hear a couple of album tracks before I buy an album, but such is the sheer quality of Joey Negro's (Dave Lee)production I would buy any of his releases! Have listened to once already and am going through it again - if music was chocolate, Joey Negro would be Galaxy Gold!!!!! Never fails to disappoint with a perfect blend of soulful disco house, smooth grooves and excellent production as always. This is going to be listened to as much as the last Sunburst Band album - "Moving with the Shakers" (many of the tracks from that album have become firm favourites of mine and I have thrown them into many a mix when I have been out dj-ing). Total perfection - I hope this guy continues making quality music like this that blows all the current samey, tedious chart "muzak" garbage out of the water. Buy it!! NOW!! :-)
It's been a few years since the release of Until The End Of Time (another excellent album) and this is a welcome return for the Sunburst Band. From start to finish 'The Secret Life of us' is non-stop upbeat funk/disco/vocal house, the good news is this CD is a generous 76 mins long and there's not a single bum track. There's not much else around to touch this at the moment and it's going straight on my mp3 player to take away on holiday.
Funk never died and Dave Lee's (aka. Joey Negro) project The Sunburst Band proves that yet again. It's like the '80s, '90s and noughties never existed and you'll believe you're hustling in your butterfly collars, platforms and bell bottoms.
"Where the Lights Meet the Music" recalls the scene of a soulful disco before the album really hits its stride with its two arguably stand out tracks - The knowingly funky, "The Secret Life of Us", and the melodic rainbow-fuelled, Doobie Brothers-inspired "Caught in the Moment". You're then eased into soulful instrumental, "Opus De Soul".
Mind elevation and head-bobbing is guaranteed. This is feel-good music that you'll want to play over and over, and appreciate even more with every listen. Brilliantly soulful and funky!
This was my introduction to Joey and The Sunburst Band. Just what I've been looking for for months and months. A fantastic album and I'm hooked on track 10 Trust Me. Robbie Vincent introduced me to them on his Sunday morning show on Jazz FM. I am now on Amazon ordering the rest of their collection!
I love the album, I just can't stop shaking my booty everytime I play this album !! The Disco and acid jazz reminds me of the time I was a youngster during the mid 70's, the RnB of the 80's and the acid jazz era of the 90's!! It's all good!!! ;o)
Its been 4 years since the last Sunburst CD and the bar has been set pretty high by their previous albums, especially "Until the End of time". I'm very pleased to say this new set doesn't disappoint at all. As always the musicianship, vocalists and production are spot on with Julian Crampton's funky bass playing in particular being as good as I've heard on a recording. Some truly memorable songs, obviously the Brenda Russell cover "In The Thick of It" which takes her beautiful semi ballad and turns it into into a MAW style soulful house cut with gorgeous live strings is an initial stand out. However, after a couple of listens I've also grown to love the Chic-ish title track, cheeky "Heartbeat" style "My Way", 80s boogie "Definition of Love" and moody philly style instrumental "Opus de Soul". while maybe a slightly out of character the guilty pleasures type pop soul of "Caught in the Moment" is a real sing along moment. slightly more 80s and boogiefied than previous work but none the less a great album that brightened up my day and I venture many more days to come.
I love all of Dave Lee's output over the years but especially his Brit Funk-Soul-Jazz experiment with this lot. Shame on me for missing this release last year but just downloaded it on Amazon. ALMOST went to see them live last year because they're an excellent live band but I missed out. Got to try again this year if they're still doing the rounds.
This album is exactly what you'd expect. Proper musicians playing real instruments. As others have said the bassist is particularly good but that's the hallmark of SB album. Can't pick out favourites just yet but the opening song did the trick for me and got the spine tingling and the feet moving.
Fantastic band, fantastic album. A must-buy.
Edit: Listened to this a lot over the past few weeks, along with this band's earlier stuff. It's fabulous of course, but Dave has definitely veered towards pop with this one, from "When the Lights..." to "Caught in The Moment" there are some obvious singles here. Much more radio friendly than some of their earlier output and the opening bass riff on "In The Thick of It" is just great.
Still love it but I'm detecting an ever so slight change in style on a few of the tracks with a definite nod to the synth-led 80's. Not a bad thing, just saying.
A harmonious, funky, soulful release from Joey and the Sunburst Band. Down tempo and house grooves here that offer a unique and uplifting sound. "The Secret Life Of Us" is barely a nudge above Sean McCabe's excellent and recent "It's Time" album on Joey's Z Records label.
Both represent soulful, electronic music in a way that I've never heard done so well before. It only makes me want to listen more through admiration and pleasure. A sublime release.