05 March 2021 (released)
10 February 2021
Three very different characters and musicians – rock & Blues guitarist Robin Trower, reggae-fusion singer Maxi Priest & sessioneer & studio master Livingstone Brown on bass & keys – coming together to make an album.
My expectations were pretty low but the result is an absolutely gorgeous soul drenched piece.
This may or may not be a new direction for the three of them but either way it stands up as a superb album, full of little delights and joys.
The three met at Brown’s studio in Brixton and began to work together. The album was actually recorded in 2018 but it has taken until now to sort the release but it sounds as fresh as a daisy. All songs were a collaboration by the three and there is a definite common ‘feel’ to the 9 tracks on the album. Trower’s signature guitar leads are very much a part of the music but Priest’s vocals give a very different tone to it and you certainly wouldn’t say that this was any of the three taking the lead over the others.
From the very start there is a soulful groove with the title track kicking off with some gorgeous strings, a gentle funk to the song’s groove and Priest’s beautifully sweet vocals. Trower’s wahwah lines are subtle and the song grabs you right from the off.
It continues with ‘Are We Just People’ which has the feel of a ‘Superfly’ era Curtis Mayfield: emotional, gentle and buoyed up by deliciously produced strings.
In fact, the whole album has the essential elements of classic era soul – picking up a bit of Marvin Gaye here or Phillysoul there – but it stands brilliantly in the modern day and I really can’t remember an album I enjoyed listening to as much in ages.
My personal favourite track is ‘Walking Wounded’ with a great vocal from Maxi Priest. The number is harrowing and dark, the strings just bringing the mood lower and lower and Trower delivering an absolutely agonizing solo. Hard to listen to but absolutely wonderful too.
This should be on everyone’s player this year – it is a simply fabulous recording.