Various Artists - So Soulful Collection, Vol. 2 (2015)

Various Artists
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The best DJ’s are more than the folks who play music at clubs or on the radio. Those at the top of the DJ game possess an abiding love, curiosity and encyclopedic knowledge of music. A DJ will never be satisfied to simply play whatever they receive from a record label. A DJ will dig into the crates in a never ending search to give the world music that is unique and compelling, and that is what So Soulful achieves on the second installment of the So Soulful Collection series.

The best DJ’s are more than the folks who play music at clubs or on the radio. Those at the top of the DJ game possess an abiding love, curiosity and encyclopedic knowledge of music. A DJ will never be satisfied to simply play whatever they receive from a record label. A DJ will dig into the crates in a never ending search to give the world music that is unique and compelling, and that is what So Soulful achieves on the second installment of the So Soulful Collection series.

So Soulful is the moniker of a DJ who has been working in the game since the age of 15, and who currently has a presence on a variety of media platforms that serve as his platform to play and promote the music of artists who are familiar names to SoulTrackers, as well as others looking to become household names. Both So Soulful Collection compilations display the DJ’s keen ear for music that tells a story about what is happening in the contemporary world of independent soul music, while also being an excellent distillation of the evolution and trends taking place in R&B music over the last 35 years.

A cut such as Chidi’s “You & Me” captures the smooth vibe of mid 1980s funk with a bouncy bass line that beacons dancers to the floor. The vocalist’s mature yet playfully seductive vocals recall up-tempo groups from that era such as Starpoint. Meanwhile tracks such as Lifford’s “Came From” and Don E’s “Pressing On” combine thumping bass lines with a hip-hop influence that’s heard in percussive beats and catchy hooks.

The above trio of tunes definitely stand as the DJ’s money makers because they will crowd the floor and keep the party hype. However, there will be times when a DJ has to slow the pace, and this edition of The So Soulful Collection contains cuts that will set the stage of some chilling out and getting close. The album’s best track is a mid-tempo duet pairing the angelic voiced Loretta with raspy and muscular baritone of Gimenez-E titled “So Alive.” The song features a smooth bass line that recalls Switch’s “There’ll Never Be” with jazz influenced horns and strong backing vocals. The classic soul of Jonathan Winstead’s soaring tenor makes the “No Room For Me” a very close second. On this track, Winstead implores his lady to remove whatever feelings or inhibitions caused by past relationships to make room their future.

There is no filler on this compilation album. The So Soulful Collection Vol. 2 project meets the highest expectations because of the prime selections of the artists featured on this project. There is no filler, just great cuts that show some of the best features of modern soul music. Highly Recommended

By Howard Dukes

Click Here to listen to The So Soulful Collection Vol. 2

 
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Song of the Month - Bryan Andrew Wilson - "Only You'

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