Brothers Will and Benji Bower, together with colleague Ben Muscat, release their fourth album in total and their first on the innovative Tru-Thoughts label. It is a fine label debut, jam packed with gems ranging from cinematic jazz through to soul, funk, hip-hop, blues and electronic. This variety of genres works well across a double CD package where the length does not diminish the quality of music on offer.
After exploring a reasonably chilling first half which includes the rare groove Alice Russell vocalised 'Don't you worry' and the soulful two steppin' 'See the Light' featuring the distinctive vocals of J Todd, the second half becomes more dance oriented. Here broken beats mix with brass and electronic funk with some regularity, no better illustrated than on 'Fkovski' and the jazzier 'In pursuit of,' which is a throwback to the jazz-funk days of the Crusaders. The eclecticism of the album might not appeal to all, as how many would expect to hear 'Alright' -- an acoustic led hazily sung jazz influenced track -- after the fresh rap of 'Let it Ride' featuring Epcot. But it is not just the synching of the tracks that surprises for even in some of the individual tracks there is a diversity of styles. The closing track on the album's 'The Journey' epitomises the theme of the album as it takes us from a full cinematic orchestral outing into a jazzy groove with relative ease and not some surprise! It's as if the trio are challenging us to explore this diversity with them safe in the knowledge that along the way we will uncover some real gems -- and we do!
An album of undoubted merit and the best thing to come out of the city of Bristol since the SS Great Britain!
A JL REVIEW