Kindred the Family Soul - Legacy of Love (2016)

Kindred the Family Soul
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Kindred the Family Soul - Legacy of Love

Years into a relationship or a marriage, it happens: the dopamine has faded and the drudge of everyday life begins. Between the laundry, budgets, carpooling and voter drives, however, friendships solidify and the memories take root to anchor the relationship. And that is what R&B's reigning domestic duo, Kindred The Family Soul, focuses on within their six album, Legacy of Love

Kindred the Family Soul - Legacy of Love

Years into a relationship or a marriage, it happens: the dopamine has faded and the drudge of everyday life begins. Between the laundry, budgets, carpooling and voter drives, however, friendships solidify and the memories take root to anchor the relationship. And that is what R&B's reigning domestic duo, Kindred The Family Soul, focuses on within their six album, Legacy of Love

Filled with just as much affection as their 2014 release, A Couple Friends, Legacy has a fresh infusion of energy, thanks to elements of hip-hop and vintage touches of disco-era soul, their vocal interplay made more lively with esteemed contributions from James Poyser, Vidal Davis, Steve McKie and Anthony Bell. Since Fatin and Aja Dantzler have been building their own family as long as they've been performing, listeners have come to expect the lush, lived-in "cookout-ready" type of grooves Kindred delivers, tracks encompassing all levels of unity and togetherness. 

A result of their own legacy, daughter Lanaa, offers spoken word within the CD's intro, "Love Is..." ("The miracle is life, love is what's magic.....") and what follows is equal parts pro-monogamy anthems and odes to progress and community:  "Nobody Like You" is a fiery back-and-forth-turned-love-in ("Came in late at night then I jumped in the shower.....I was tired now I'm feeling the power"), "Moving On" is about the ebb and flow---and fragility---of family life, and "All My People," Legacy's lead single, speaks of the desire for everyone to rise and prosper, indicative of their growing civil activism and involvement in Philly's schools and politics. The emergence of Black Lives Matter, as well as the political turmoil of this year's presidential race, has multiple sides in dialogue about accountability and equality---- truth be told, both major candidates would do well to model the goals Kindred espouses: "I want all my people around me, everybody livin' good/Everybody eatin' good, everybody chillin." Incredibly,  despite the different approaches and collaborators in the mix, each track complements the next and, as a result, all twelve feel familiar and add up to yet another worthwhile addition to the catalog of Kindred. 

Raising children, navigating their careers and a bustling household ("Welcome To My World," "Never Know") with civic uplift ("Where Do We Go," "Get There") while they fight to keep that spark of love aflame ("Another One"): yes they 'sang' and light up the stage, but let's keep it 100: the enduring reason that Aja and Fatin continue to enrapture the ears, eyes and hearts of discriminating music lovers around the world is because in them, we can see ourselves. There can't always be butterflies nor can there be constant screaming matches; where most of us dwell is somewhere in the middle, and Kindred's Legacy of Love is the soundtrack representing where that sweet spot could be. Highly Recommended. 

By Melody Charles

 
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