Freddie Matthews writes from London: Trying to sound as if your style is from the 1960s or 70s isn’t an uncommon format in this day and age. However when the likes of Beyoncé, Timbaland and many of the rap fraternity add record scratches, tape hiss and noises from the analogue era, it isn’t a guaranteed ticket to old skool authenticity. Why then do artists think it’s ok to try and sound as if they’re from another era?
Step in The Drizabone Soul Family with their second album, The Recipe Of Life. It’s new but not in the slightest bit original and in which decade it originated could be a highly debatable subject. Like a trip down memory lane, this album could quite easily be 40 years old and not released at the tail end of 2012.
The Drizabone Soul Family’s debut album, All The Way, in 2010 gave them reasonable success in the form of UK radio airplay for three of the singles. Not bad for your first attempt. However that album’s musical spectrum was very wide, almost as if the band were searching for their place in the industry or possibly using any popularity as a guide to their future direction. With this new album, The Recipe Of Life, the band have tried to develop and produce more focus but with that so-called new focus, or lack of in my opinion, comes a limited sound and appeal. I find this album to be very confusing and there’s not just one particular style but far too many!
Think classic Motown, with songs like: You Come Around – it’s Diana Ross And The Supremes in the short space of just less than 4 minutes; Happy Endings might as well be The Three Degrees for the up tempo style and even drum beat; Sell My Soul could quite easily be Nina Simone (despite Shniece McMenemin’s vocal not being a patch on Simone’s) but it has similar sassy style written all over it; New York City Nights is too try hard for my liking. It reminds me of many other songs from the 70s without being able to put my finger on just one in particular. The Recipe Of Life is like something I’d expect to hear on the soundtrack of a 70s porno film or played at a cheesy theme night in my local pub.
It goes without saying that The Drizabone Soul Family certainly have talent but I can’t help thinking that this album has been released 4 decades too late. It’s a complete mishmash.
If I really want to listen to this style of music I’d go back to the Motown and Disco greats instead of trying to find a whole new yet old sound.
Different styles, different singers and different decades: make up your goddamn minds would you.
At best, it’s music to watch paint dry to.