Both Gadd and Titiyo carried their success into the millennium along with Swedish Neo-Soul interpreters Kissey Asplund, Ernesto, and Paul Mac Innes. Mac Innes, who has toured extensively in Europe and the U.K., now teams with his long-time associate T.B.O.I. (The Brother of Invention, aka Bjorn Almgren) for their self-titled debut. .
Compared to Mac Innes' experimental collaborations with UK DJ/producer Landslide and Scandanavian producer Andreas Saag, he and TBOI lend a smoother, old-school tone for their recording debut. Overall, most tracks are noteworthy, especially those with the unconventional attributes. "Welcome To The Bunker," pays a fitting tribute towards Mac Innes and Almsson's Gothenburg recording studio where the soulful magic happens. On "Sorry I'm Leaving," T.B.O.I. utilizes softer broken beats compared to DJ Landslide's hard-hitting "Had It Comin," but this approach works favorably with Mac Innes' zestful performance. The down-tempo "Don't Leave Me Yet" is marked by flawless vocal harmony sweeps. "What You Do" combines a murky hip-hop feel and a sparse horn arrangement. And "Run Away," is a tale of two opposite moods: a seventies-influenced piece slowly ascending from a slow-burning funk feel - think The Brothers Johnson - into a Prince-like dirge filled with screeching guitars and Mac Innes' most uninhibited vocal moment on the disc.
Mac Innes' debut disc with T.B.O.I. is unquestionably a highly-qualified throwback to the soul/funk era in many areas, thanks to his raw vocal emotions and T.B.O.I.'s empathetic production. Granted, Mac Innes nails down his soulful expressions, yet somehow I wish he might decrease the mellow factor on occasion, and increase the explosive vocal display similar to his well-know You Tube "We Need You Now" video. That aside, Paul Mac Innes & T.B.O.I.'s debut is another of Sweden's fruitful contributions to urban music's glory days.
By Peggy Oliver