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Brand New Heavies - Allaboutthefunk


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 with it.

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 tracks.

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 unwanted comparisons.

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 while recording.

The energy is infectious.

 

Track listing:
1. Boogie
2. Need Some More
3. Waste My Time
4. Keep On Shining
5. What Do You Take Me For?
6. Surrender
7. Many Rivers To Cross
8. How Do You Think
9. Every Time We Turn It Up
10. How We Do This

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