Various Artists - Come On Soul! vol. 2
Mon 21st Jan, 2008 Music Reviewsin
Hamburg record label Légère Recordings is back with a follow up to Come On Soul! Compiled by purveyors of all things soul, both old and new, DJs Ada James and Basil Hunt, the album matches original soul from the late 60s and 70s with modern day numbers. So how do such new acts such as Melbourne’s own Bamboos and Smoove stand up the legendary Four Tops and the original soul sister Marva Whitney? Let’s find out.
Opening up with the folksy Pennygold from relative unknown Lindy Stevens, we move bang on into the northern soul sounds of Jimmy Mack, with My World Is On Fire. The sound quality may not match up to Smoove’s solid effort I Can’t Give You Up, but the soul is in the right place. John Turrell’s voice on Smoove’s track is commanding as it bounces along to this up-tempo number. Funky stuff, but a little too Mambo No. 5 for my liking. One of the highlights on the album is the bubblegum soul effort from The Showstoppers with Eeny Meeny, the call and response groove impossibly catchy and with lyrics like “Eeny meeny miney mo, never gonna let you go, of all the fishes in the sea, I picked you, and you picked me,” how could you not love it? On a deeper soul tip, The Four Tops Sweet Understanding Love is excellent but are eclipsed by the freestyle scat and be bop jazz workout in The Whispers’ In Love Forever.
Blurring the lines between soul and disco, Pat Lundi’s 1974 floor filler Party Music is hot, but The Bamboos do produce a pretty damn good impression of old school soul however in I Don’t Wanna Stop. Featuring Kylie Auldist on the mic they have their groove down pat, showing just how tight they can be. Even the hiss, crackle and pops sound original! Of course no modern soul compilation would be complete without Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings, their cover of Just Dropped In (To See What Condition Was In), popularised by Kenny Rogers’ First Edition, is punchy and bold. Keeping in the covers theme is The Sweet Vandals cover of Marvin Gaye’s ubiquitous What’s Going On. Closing out the disc this modern interpretation is just fantastic and sure to stick with you.
So do the originals dominate or is modern soul where it’s at? While some of the original works are a little preachy the modern tracks lack a bit of authenticity. I guess you’ll just have to decide for yourself.
Perfect for: a first date dinner at home.