on 21 November 2013
At last the follow-up to Expansion's excellent Love Vibes compilation is with us, and what a cracking set of tunes this is. Most have been unavailable on CD and will therefore be essential additions. Tracks are lifted from albums from the late 70s through to the mid 80s and are bright, optimistic, feel good magic. Songs are all strong, mid to up tempo, with lots of guitars, strings, some light 80s electronic touches and, of course, top notch vocals. Imagine walking into one of the smaller side rooms at a soul weekender late on a Saturday afternoon, and this is the kind of selection you would have heard - not anthems, but tunes picked by passionate experts who are looking to encourage their audience into exploring artists and discovering hidden or underplayed album gems. Ralph Tee is involved in the selection, so you know the quality will be high, and he's joined by Steve Cole and Paul Clifford. Favourites for me include Peabo Bryson's 'Paradise', the 80s groover 'I Can't Shake This Feeling' by Klique and the opener, 'Day Dreaming' by Cold Fire. You also get lovely stuff from Muscle Shoals Horns, Linda Clifford and Bloodstone. If you liked the Natural High compilations from WSM, this CD is perfect for you. Only (minor) gripe is: Why didn't Expansion issue this CD before the summer? I would have played it to death throughout the warm months because this is sunshine music. Even the cover illustration says 'summer' to me! Maybe licensing issues delayed the release. Buy it today and you have a wonderful batch of upbeat, soulful tunes in your collection to play whatever the weather. Hopefully there'll be a third installment too...
on 1 December 2013
As with previous purchases I have waited a couple of weeks to see how I felt about this cd, as on its initial spin it was an immediate hit. However after three or four plays you sometime lose the initial wow factor, but this doesn't happen with Love Vibes 2. I will admit that there are no songs that will stun you (although I agree with other reviews that Peabo Bryson's Paradise is pretty special), but what this cd gives you is great songs that flow really well with the right balance of upbeat and mid tempo songs. OK a few of the songs are either well known or on other CDs, but all these tracks are quality and with 17 songs makes this good value for money. There are no fillers here.
We have waited nearly a year for expansion records to issue their CDs and now we get three together. For me this is the best as I love melodic Philly type soul. I was concerned when I first heard Soul Togetherness 2013 that Expansion had gone off the boil, but this cd proves that they still the best soul label in the UK.
Therefore if you are buying one of the three CDs as a present or for yourself, I would recommend as follows:-
If they/you like R&B buy Soul Togetherness 2013.
If they/you like upbeat, mid tempo or groove type sounds buy this Love Vibes Too.
If they/you prefer early seventies more funk edger type stuff then buy the upcoming Sounds of Universal Love.
These are all great CDs for either your collection, especially if you don't already have them in your collection.
It's been a strange year for the soul collector, especially if like me you love compilation CDs. However there have been several great releases of which my top five are ( not in any order).
Luxury Soul 2013, 80's soul classics vol 4, Nighttime Lovers 19, The Get Down Boogie Sound and Love Vibes Too.
I hope this helps anyone looking for either their collection or presents.
on 30 November 2013
I have a huge collection of soul/funk dating from around 1983 and when I first listened to this album, every track was new to me.
Having playing it over and over again, I am hooked. Not a 'filler' in sight. Some terrific music that most folk will be totally unfamiliar with.
Take the plunge, Expansion have got the content correct.