You don't have to be observant to notice that the classic sounds of soul, pop, rock and country are drifting further from the mainstream in American music. Turn on youth oriented radio and modern, digitized sound predominates. This is to be expected. Every generation has to create something new. And to be fair, many of the new generation of performers have a knowledge and healthy respect for their predecessors. That is definitely true of artists who hail from South America and other parts of the world. Those performers and their fans seem to have an endless appetite for classic soul, rock and pop. I heard Adele on NPR the other day talking about how she reveres Etta James.
Knowing that, I wasn't too surprised to learn that Ricardo Scartezini and Lorna Earnshaw - the two principle members of the band The Kind Revolution - hailed from Brazil. Their new album, Sweet Sunrise, definitely has an old soul. Earnshaw, the vocalist, and Scartezini, the songwriter and guitarist, take listeners through a tour of rock era genres ranging from country on the title track "Sweet Sunrise," to soul on "Tenderly," blues on "When You Come Near," and acoustic pop on "I'll Be Gone." Earnshaw's vocals are pleasing, and she doesn't have that robotic quality that afflicts some foreign singers when trying to perform American pop music. Yet, the listener can hear the foreign lilt in her phrasing. The songs on Sweet Sunrise are middle of the road. I thought that she sounded a bit like Astrud Gilberto before I found out she was from Brazil.
The Kind Revolution is not trying to shake things lyrically or musically. Earnshaw and Scartezini know that the band's name is somewhat oxymoronic. People don't often think of revolutionaries as being kind (although Egypt's revolutionaries might beg to differ). Still Earnshaw and Scartezini aren't trying to change or rule the music world. Musically, one could say that they're counter-revolutionaries - and kind of proud of it. That stance carries the risk that their sound might fade into the background, and that happens a few times on Sweet Sunrise. Still, Earnshaw and Scartezini's platform of easy listening pop will likely earn them more than a few votes from the adult contemporary bloc.
Notable Tracks: I'll Be Gone, I Wish, Tenderly
Soultracks call: Moderately recommended
By Howard Dukes