The Right Now - Carry Me Home (2010)

The Right Now
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Keeping with the latest renaissance of updating proven music traditions with a pinch of pop, the Chicago-based band, The Right Now, isn't afraid to also get down with a little soul. On their new album Carry Me Home, they surround themselves with live instrumentation, a juicy organ, bluesy guitar plunks and a sweet horn section reminiscent of Stax legends, the powerhouse M.G.s. At first listen, you can trace The Right Now's parallels to Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings, but the band-along with their pop-meets-soul lead singer Stefanie Berecz-adds more to the equation than most, with a dash of swamp rock and Ahmet Etergun rhythm and blues.

Keeping with the latest renaissance of updating proven music traditions with a pinch of pop, the Chicago-based band, The Right Now, isn't afraid to also get down with a little soul. On their new album Carry Me Home, they surround themselves with live instrumentation, a juicy organ, bluesy guitar plunks and a sweet horn section reminiscent of Stax legends, the powerhouse M.G.s. At first listen, you can trace The Right Now's parallels to Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings, but the band-along with their pop-meets-soul lead singer Stefanie Berecz-adds more to the equation than most, with a dash of swamp rock and Ahmet Etergun rhythm and blues.

Piecing together a studio effort using live, on-stage mechanics tends to create the best in R&B; a technique The Right Now uses for their design pallet throughout Carry Me Home. There is also a smorgasbord of familiar images from yesterday, to add to the entertainment. The album opener, "Ain't Going Back," features a funky Sly Stone guitar riff that's virtually impossible to ignore. The driving tempo of "I'll Get Down" slides like a James Brown workout. "You Will Know," with Greg Nergaard's gospel tambourine and Stax-peppered horns, rocks with fiery Memphis Soul.

When the band decides to slow things down, they get creative. One of the album's most rewarding ballads, "Nobody" melts like buttery pop in the hands of Berecz. "Better Way to Live"-with its chilling melancholy opening-is a six-minute blues anthem. And, the dreamy "I Could Really Hold On" floats like a lost Joss Stone track.

Nostalgia may be the group's best reward. Still, don't get them confused with some of the copy-and-paste, "Making the Band" groups of today. The band members are all instrumental in the creative process, co-writing each of the songs and arrangements like one big happy family. It's that presence of unbreakable unity that gives Carry Me Home the kind of organic luster.

Notable Tracks: "Ain't Going Back," "Nobody," "I'll Get Down," "Before I Know Your Name" and "I Could Really Hold On"

Vocals: 4.0 stars
Music: 4.0 stars
Lyrics: 3.5 stars
Production: 3.0 stars
SoulTracks Call: Highly Recommended

By J. Matthew Cobb

 

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