Date: May 12 2012
You don't need flutes and congas to make a '70s-style, rhythm-based record today. But it helps.
You could go without re-imagining the laid-back grooves and quasi-spiritual backing vocals, you might get away without a dip into not just soul but various Latin American styles, and if you're really lucky you might sneak in with a merely average singer. But I really would advise against it, if only because you would be blown away by the classiness of this album.
Its principal weapon is the voice of Alice Russell, the best of the new soul generation that tumbled out in the wake of Amy Winehouse.
She can ease back or she can growl, she has depth as well as swing, and doesn't confine herself to regulation blues and R&B tropes.
I wouldn't say she is perfect on every track but she is a proper singer. With her is fellow Brit, writer-producer Quantic (Will Holland), who has long shown a fondness for dappled beats and more recently a specialist's interest in the rhythms of Colombia, where he now operates.
He taps into that local talent with this album's band-in-residence, Combo Barbaro, who never feel ruffled.
There's some piano that insinuates jazz into the mix without fanfare, and percussion that dances lightly across everything; some of the bass playing is almost liquid and those flutes are right on.
You will need a dance partner for best results here. And if it's a partner you don't know that well at the start, don't worry: by the end of this record you'll be close.
LIKE THIS? TRY: Joe Bataan, Subway Joe; Quantic, Quantic Presenta Flowering Inferno.
QUANTIC & ALICE RUSSELL
Look Around the Corner
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