Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Since the revival of the Drizabone Soul Family back in 2010 with the awaited album All The Way, there had not been much action since their prime years of 1991-1995 where they created and remixed chart topping singles. This included their own Real Love which reached #16 in the UK and the infamous remix of R&B star Shanice’s I Love Your Smile which reached #2 in the US and UK alike. keeping in mind this remix doing much better than the original. They are now back with The Recipe Of Life to be released the end of November having come a long way since their creation and peak years of the 1990′s.
The new album is said to play on the styles of different era’s, including reworked tracks which originally featured back in the 90′s and others containing 70′s disco beats and montages to take you back to a different time so to speak. The soul and R&B band is set to create something easy listening with added funk and jazz, which is always nice to hear. You don’t get many group’s now a days trying to relive their golden years with much success. Take Lionel Richie’s recent attempt or even Jeff Lynne’s rework of ELO songs. Still great but evident lack of commercial success. Unfortunately The Recipe Of Life might be something to follow suit. It’s always hard to evaluate or rate and album as you ultimately need something to compare it to. Usually I would rate something by it’s originality, creativity, professional sound or even amount of evident talent, you know, the general. The down side is, The Drizabone Soul Family ticks all those boxes and even is on par to its golden hits. So FYI, if I appear to be harsh, it will only be due to my critical nature. Otherwise everything would get 5 star..
Track 1, Brightest Star is a soft introduction to the album. A very 90′s theme of an introduction build up containing light, funky guitar chords, light cymbal tapping and deep feeling and emotion of vocals without actual words (yet), you know what I mean. An enjoyable song with much feeling and thought with the vocals as well as the song construction. The use of a female vocalist adds to the era and the easy listening nature. Perfect.. if only. Now the critical part. There is no fault in this song whatsoever. Absolutely perfect. However I would fail to put it into my iTunes playlist and I think that’s where this album may falter. To where an artist like Olly Murs can take these funky guitar riffs or classic double bass guitar or even similar lyric construction like what is used in Brightest Star, he still brings in that essence that gives the modern twist. The Drizabone Soul family is pure nostalgia. Risk comparison but hopefully you get the picture.
Track 5 New York City Lights is certainly more experimental and upbeat with the nostalgia. A simple but effective theme, one that could create powerful imagery simply down to the topic and its large association with lyrics used. As described there are beats, stings and riffs you would find in a 70′s disco. (As far as I am aware from playing GTA Vice City anyway). Preferably my favourite song of the album however again, not something I would want popping up on my iTunes. I would always prefer to listen to something with more kick, more energy. For those who have previously played TimeSplitters, you would expect to hear this song during the ending credits. Weird to say but hopefulyy you will think the same. Maybe it’s just me but its a rare occasion for me to turn on the radio or listen to music for the need to listen to something easy listening. I like classical, I like metal and easy listening, is well.. easy to listen to, but it would never be at the top of my music list. I would rather not listen to anything to calm myself down. Hopefully I am not alone in this feeling.
Track 7 Smile Baby has a different style. A type of Bubl swing to it and that’s not just because it uses a male vocalist. Its very dancey with the typical Drizabone Soul family beats of light guitar riffs and drum beat. An excellent track where the song revolves around the vocals and lyrics. With other orchestral instruments and backing vocals to support this, it’s quite a powerful song. Almost creating that Wham Christmas festival feeling of smiles and happiness, as lame as that makes me sound.
Thoughts? Its a great album. Drizabone Soul Family certainly have talent. Every song has the a difference in its theme, mood and style however always comes back to that soul, funk and easy listening essence. As you may have gathered from reading this which might be an age thing, if you like the older style R&B and easy listening funk then The Recipe Of Life is perfect for you. I for one, think its a great, diverse album however I haven’t been taken in by the hype.