Review: Jack Foley
"THIS is an album about four people just having fun making
music together," insists new Brand New Heavies singer, Nicole
Russo. "We've done this completely on our own. And we've
done it because we believe in it and because we love it."
Well, suffice to say, with a name like Allaboutthefunk,
and a first single, called Boogie, you should definitely
guess this is geared towards the party crowd, and getting jiggy
Allaboutthefunk - the band's latest album - is a suitably lively
blend of R&B and funk that really ought to go down well among
the trendy party crowd.
It may not be as groundbreaking as some of their earlier material,
but there is certainly plenty of fun to be had in several of the
What's more, Russo's sassy vocals merely up the girl attitude
of the band, and come across as genuinely seductive when set against
the acid jazz-infused beats and rhythms.
Boogie, for instance, gets the album off to flyer with
its clap-happy beats and acoustic guitar breakdowns, while the
strings and scratches that mark the arrival of Need Some More
deftly combine some funky rhythms with a little bit of attitude.
Boasting lyrics such as 'We know some people come and go/ We’re
going to stay, we’re gonna rock your show', the track represents
a manifesto for a new soul nation, a passionate rant against the
current state of the music industry and a call to arms to everyone
who feels that pop should be more than pap.
The rest of the album fulfils the criteria of the manifesto,
mixing things up, but keeping things agreeable enough to appeal
to the mainstream, but different enough not to become tagged with
This is the sound of the Brand New Heavies and it's easy to see
where the likes of Beyonce, Kelis and Brandy have got some of
their inspiration from.
Other album highlights include the rock-funk mix of Waste
My Time, the no-nonsense What Do You Take Me For?,
which incorporates some Motown-attitude, and the lazy guitars
and delicious beats of How Do You Think, which just sounds
great played loud.
The only hiccup comes in the form of Many Rivers To Cross,
an unwanted cover that's way too downbeat and sticks out like
a sore thumb amid the fun.
But it's a small price to pay for an album that ought to bring
as much joy to the listener as it so obviously did to the Heavies
The energy is infectious.