Some of you might know that by day I'm a computer geek. I work as a database administrator for an international investment bank. It's not as glamourous ( the UK spelling, darling ) as it sounds, but I do have the chance to frequently connect with people who live across the pond. Most of the folks I do business with at the bank know I write about music and am a flaming homosexual, so I'm frequently getting e-mails from my British friends that read like this:
'Sweetie, Hil St. Soul album SOULdified. Check it. You'll die. And I read your blog yesterday. You ARE a tart. Kisses!'
When I read that e-mail, I perked up and did something about it. I went out and purchased 'SOULdified' and damn near died when I started playing it. It really is that good.
Hil St. Soul is comprised of Hilary Mwelwa and Victor Redwood-Sawyerr. Hilary, the songbird, is no stranger to the Neo-Soul genre. Early on she was writing and singing for Incognito, who some of you may know from any of the Deep House compilations I've written about in the past.
I cannot fathom why more people aren't singing the praises of 'SOULdified' in the streets. British Soul tends to take a backseat to its American counterpart, but listen up folks, this album isn't playing. From smooth and mellow to upbeat and full of energy, this album is seriously some of the best music I've heard in a long time. It hits a ton of genres from start to finish, and that's exactly how you should listen to it. From beginning to end, this is good stuff.
I sometimes hate comparisons, but this album feels like you're listening to Brand New Heavies, Erykah Badu, Heather Headley, and Floetry all at the same time. But better.
A ballad like 'Goodbye' smoothes out the groove, but the funky '2 Good To Be True' whips it back up to pace with a thumping bass line and a funky guitar loop. 'We Don't Talk' sounds like a good classic Soul tune with perfect backup harmonies. The duet with Dwele on 'Baby Comes Over' is fresh and perfect for the warming Spring days ahead.
In my spotlight is a track called 'Betta Days' that couldn't contain a better message for all of us right now. It has become my daily jam. There's a good '90s House drum beat underneath it all, a sample that hits hard and sounds familiar, and a breakdown of hollerin' and hand-clappin' that makes me move; 'You've got the power, so raise your hand, stand up and be counted, or things remain the same.'
Timely, spanning many genres, and featuring one of the better voices out there, 'SOULdified' won't let you down. The only thing bad about it is how much it will make you realize that the days of loving an album from start to finish are few and far between. Take the time to celebrate gems like this one. Trust.
With you in 4/4,