Dribbling. That's what music has been doing lately. It's been dribbling out into the open, with very little good stuff to choose from. If it isn't 'remix A' of an old song, it's 'mash-up B' that has sparked my interest. The few tracks here and there that I've actually liked are far from the dance floor.
However, June seemed to bring them out of the woodwork. A trip online to do a little browsing, and my shopping cart was heavy with goodness. Surprises abounded, and I have so much to tell you that this column could have been ten pages. But I'm going to keep it simple and dish on one of the best CDs I've heard this year.
First, as some of you might know, N'Dea Davenport is back with The Brand New Heavies. Nicole Russo, the former songbird about whom I waxed poetically last year has gone off to do her own thing, and the boys are back with N'Dea at the helm.
I've said it in the past: Buy any Brand New Heavies discs that cross your path. These kids KNOW what good music is, and they're keeping that head-bopping funk-you-in-the-ass soul flavor alive and well. Their latest disc 'Get Used To It' is no exception.
They've used N'Dea much more than before on this disc, and she absolutely radiates that powerful soul vibe for which her voice is so well suited. On the opening track 'We've Got,' the funky digital bass line kicks in, some wah-wah guitar kicks up, and their voices kick out of the speakers to let you know that they've STILL got it.
Horns really work me up. The track 'Right On' has some of the best horns I've heard this year. They splash around, brightening up the track, while N'Dea sings 'Bring back the funkin' music.' Bliss, I tell you. Pure bliss.
The title track 'Get Used To It' is quintessential 'Heavies, from the funked up bass line to the filtered guitars. Multiple layers of vocals from N'Dea and company add to the richness of the track.
And in my spotlight is the reason I purchased the album. I heard a 30 second clip while listening to some samples on the 'Heavies myspace page and instantly fell in love.
'I Don't Know Why ( I Love You ) ' sounds like a '50s Soul track with subtle 2006 refinements. The story is the kind of thing I fall for; woman done wrong, can't shake her love for the man that did her wrong. If that ain't the story...
From some simple chords and a few 'Yeah-yeahs', the song builds into a fully retro track, complete with tambourine-shaking, doo-wop backups, full horns, a quartet of strings, and N'Dea blowing the lead vocals so hard that you can hear how many men have done her wrong in the past. ( I think it's been quite a few. ) If you check out this album, listen to this track first. It will blow you away.
With you in 4/4,