Nick Mundy - Just Songs

Nick Mundy
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Nick Mundy's Just Songs would have been a pretty good record if the album had no more than 10 tracks. At 13 tunes, the Just Songs is just OK. Mundy is a vocalist and a guitarist who fuses elements of R&B/funk, jazz and pop into his music. That means he is following a path successfully plowed by performers such as George Benson and Jonathan Butler. And Just Songs is at its best when Mundy is mining the R&B and funk. Unfortunately, the first part of the album features pop-oriented tunes that fail to hold the listener's interest.

Just Songs gets on firmer footing when Mundy introduces the head-nodding funk tune "Is it the Way." That song features a nice interplay between Mundy's guitar and a bass that lays down a heavy rhythm. It is also the first song in which the listener gets a real taste of Mundy's vocal range, which goes from a husky tenor to a falsetto.

Nick Mundy's Just Songs would have been a pretty good record if the album had no more than 10 tracks. At 13 tunes, the Just Songs is just OK. Mundy is a vocalist and a guitarist who fuses elements of R&B/funk, jazz and pop into his music. That means he is following a path successfully plowed by performers such as George Benson and Jonathan Butler. And Just Songs is at its best when Mundy is mining the R&B and funk. Unfortunately, the first part of the album features pop-oriented tunes that fail to hold the listener's interest.

Just Songs gets on firmer footing when Mundy introduces the head-nodding funk tune "Is it the Way." That song features a nice interplay between Mundy's guitar and a bass that lays down a heavy rhythm. It is also the first song in which the listener gets a real taste of Mundy's vocal range, which goes from a husky tenor to a falsetto. That range reveals him to be interesting singer.

Mundy remains in that funk/pop mode on the next song, "Adorable." This song also showcases Mundy's ability to work in some very infectious hooks that stay in the listener's head. Tempo changes also work to keep it all interesting, and Mundy displays his deftness at working in mid-tempo songs and ballads on the tunes "All About The Love" and "Join Me For Love." Mundy also shows his ability to shift from acoustic singer/songwriter pop to hard charging rock within the same song on the tune "Oh, What A Day," and he also displays that he can have a little fun on the Caribbean influenced song "Happy In My Own Space."

Just Songs is a record that proves the point that less is often more. And while most albums put their strongest material upfront, Just Songs meanders initially into bland, middle of the road pop territory, but rewards listeners to stick around with some good jazz influenced R&B. Mildly recommended primarily because of the slow start.

Howard Dukes

 
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