Kindred the Family Soul - Love Has No Recession (2011)

Kindred the Family Soul
Kindred the Family Soul Love Has No Recession.jpg
Click on CD cover
to listen or purchase

When the money is right, the family is tight and it’s all good in the world, it’s pretty easy to love one another and thrive as couple, a family and a community. But when the pink slips go out, illness arises or there’s a personal crisis, well ….as the hip-hoppers say, “**** can get real out here.” We may not be able to control all of the factors impacting our lives, but what we can do is keep keeping on, acknowledge uncertainties and refuse to lose sight of one another in the process. And that's what the husband-and-wife duo known as Kindred The Family Soul demonstrates so eloquently on their fourth CD and most cohesive release yet, Love Has No Recession.

When the money is right, the family is tight and it’s all good in the world, it’s pretty easy to love one another and thrive as couple, a family and a community. But when the pink slips go out, illness arises or there’s a personal crisis, well ….as the hip-hoppers say, “**** can get real out here.” We may not be able to control all of the factors impacting our lives, but what we can do is keep keeping on, acknowledge uncertainties and refuse to lose sight of one another in the process. And that's what the husband-and-wife duo known as Kindred The Family Soul demonstrates so eloquently on their fourth CD and most cohesive release yet, Love Has No Recession.

It’s a fitting image that the Philly-based married couple, Aja Graydon and Fatin Dantzler, are depicted on the cover embracing and oblivious to the world as they’re submerged to their necks in water, since it’s a metaphoric representation of their efforts to stay close in the midst of a turbulent lifestyle. Creating music, performing, filming a successful web series and raising six children (whew!) would exhaust even the most energetic among us; but combining early musical influences and contemporary peers with their signature approach has ensured that Kindred’s artistry is as impassioned and authentic as ever. If 2008’s The Arrival solidified their stance as a couple and growing household, Love….speaks to the political upheavals, social dramas and other issues that can influence the atmosphere within it.

There’s the fluid, yet forceful mid-tempo “We All Will Know,” which was co-written with Raheem DeVaughn and ponders a world where the “I’ma do me” mantra is taken to harrowing extremes: “Too scared of the wicked ways of your own, where the white folks live don’t feel like home/People still don’t like each other, even our kids don’t bring us together. You thought education and money in the bank was gonna separate you, but they still hate you, no matter what you prove.” A gritty, Dr. King-sampling throwback to the Philly Sound, “Take a Look Around,” features Bilal in the bridge and describes a day in the hard-knock life while confronting political malaise head-on: “Trying to blame Mr. President, but it ain’t the fault of the government/when times was good, how we overspent, it came back to bite us in the ***.”

Balancing uncertainty with optimism is how Love….addresses the state of the world and the twists and turns that committed unions can take. “Authentically You,” with its bouncy, 1960s Motown-era backbeat, doo-wopping and a spirited outro by Lady Alma, has the duo trading salty verses on life’s ups and downs while they counsel folks to stay striving: “Well you been through some ****, yes you feel tossed and turned/know you feel down and out, trusted someone and been burned. I know that you spent your last, sacrificed and done without…so put your hand on your heart and put the other to the sky, lay your troubles down, it’s time to love, no time to cry.” A hypnotic trio of spoken word pieces, entitled “Above Water,” weave compelling verses from Ursula Rucker and CoCo Brown in-between the tracks to drop dual perspectives on how hard times can destroy even the strongest bonds if people forgo what’s solid for the superficial: “Money is backed by gold currently, but that real currency is making this house a home for you and me, backed by what we do and how I love and respect you.”p>

But it wouldn’t be the Kindred fans have come to crave without the fully-ripened love anthems, and they deliver those too, adding extra spice to the flirtatious “We Got a Love” with bars from Snoop Dogg, then pledging eternal devotion on the velvety, vintage-styled ballad, “Magic Happens.” “2 Words” beckons a guilty spouse to make-up after a flare-up, and any long-time couple can relate to “SOS (Sense of Security),” where you hope to learn that your other half still finds you hot and not just a habit: “I know you love me and you wanna be here, but do I still make you laugh, are we walking along the same path?/ Are you interested in things that I say, do you still feel the passion or tension in the bed where we lay?”

Straight-ahead, grown-folks’ R&B, peppered with profound love and life revelations by a couple unafraid to mix up some fun (the irresistible “Going to the Go-Go” featuring Chuck Brown) and 1970s-era Philly funk (“The Sheddington” pt. 1 & 2) with the familiar as they drop gems about surviving ‘happily ever after’: these reasons are why Love….is one of the best CDs of 2011 and will ensure that Kindred The Family Soul's success remains Recession-proof. Enthusiastically Recommended.

By Melody Charles

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO CLIPS FROM LOVE HAS NO RECESSION

 
Listening Room - Lizz Wright - Grace
Choice Cut - Toni Redd - "Take Me To Paradise"
Song of the Month - Phillip Brandon - "Come On"
CD of the Month - Najee - Poetry In Motion

Leave a comment!