Darryl Anders AgapéSoul - Believe in Love (2012)

Darryl Anders AgapéSoul
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Just like agape love is a way of expressing unconditional love to one another, agape soul is musician Darryl Anders’ way of extending his unconditional love of soul music with his fans. A veteran of the jazz soul world, including gigs with Tower of Power and Booker T., Anders has made an impressive transition from supporting musician to leadership. His family of messengers, AgapeSoul, is a group of San Francisco-based musicians and vocalists. Collectively they serve a generous hodgepodge of organic urban music molding soul, blues and funk, while occasionally throwing a few fresh musical curves.   

 

Just like agape love is a way of expressing unconditional love to one another, agape soul is musician Darryl Anders’ way of extending his unconditional love of soul music with his fans. A veteran of the jazz soul world, including gigs with Tower of Power and Booker T., Anders has made an impressive transition from supporting musician to leadership. His family of messengers, AgapeSoul, is a group of San Francisco-based musicians and vocalists. Collectively they serve a generous hodgepodge of organic urban music molding soul, blues and funk, while occasionally throwing a few fresh musical curves.   

After a proper introduction of AgapeSoul with the Limited Edition EP in 2010, Anders and company now release their debut full-length, Believe in Love, an ingenious musical canvas of seven originals and two covers. The title track is anchored by classic funk and soul, climaxed by a slightly unexpected yet perceptive rap from Anders: “Be what you change/and rearrange/but take home a new state of mind.” “Don’t Say U Love Me” incorporates a tasteful contemporary jazz flavor led by Zoe Ellis. For her part, Ellis sincerely connects with the material’s inherent emotions in an understated yet compelling manner. “Heaven Can Hear Us” offers a message of hope and wisdom in its blues-dusted gospel arrangement. Enders occasionally steps up to the microphone as his creamy baritone and effortless falsetto floats all over “Time Cannot Erase.”

Anders and AgapeSoul are also very adept with the covers on Believe in Love. Stevie Wonder’s “Sir Duke” begins a bit ‘smooth jazz-sluggish.’ Eventually, Anders and AgapeSoul establish their artistic territory into the second verse, whether by their improvisations, melodic and harmonic twists or Anders’ gentle bass guitar pops. Martin Luther McCoy’s vocal finesse and respectful interpretation of Quincy Jones’ urban music gem, “If I Ever Lose This Heaven,” delivers another stellar moment on a project lush with them.        

In every way, Believe in Love is Anders and AgapeSoul’s unconditional gift to the urban music market. And, every contribution on Believe in Love delivers an essential reminder as to why soul music starts and ends from the heart.   

Vocals (collectively): 3.5 stars
Music: 3.5 stars
Lyrics: 3.5 stars
Production: 4.0 stars
SoulTracks Call: Highly Recommended

By Peggy Oliver

 
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