Soul Basement - These Days (2010)

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    Fabio Toriano leads the Italian soul team Soul Basement through sophisticated AC-soul and jazz pop on These Days. This nine-track voyage allows the band to play with atmospheric quietude. "Wonderful" plays with pop strings and breezy acoustic piano and "Still One," using Bruce Hornsby piano and light drum brushes, does a decent job in shifting its forecast away from the song progression's predicted tedium. One can credit much of the album's comfortable feel to Toriano's vocal ease, and the alternating use of the familiar, charming kineticism of Kenny Lattimore and Nick Lachey.

    The band does kick-up the tempo occasionally while dabbling with Frankie Beverly soul ("I Want You") and jazzy buoyancy ("You Don't Know").

    Fabio Toriano leads the Italian soul team Soul Basement through sophisticated AC-soul and jazz pop on These Days. This nine-track voyage allows the band to play with atmospheric quietude. "Wonderful" plays with pop strings and breezy acoustic piano and "Still One," using Bruce Hornsby piano and light drum brushes, does a decent job in shifting its forecast away from the song progression's predicted tedium. One can credit much of the album's comfortable feel to Toriano's vocal ease, and the alternating use of the familiar, charming kineticism of Kenny Lattimore and Nick Lachey.

    The band does kick-up the tempo occasionally while dabbling with Frankie Beverly soul ("I Want You") and jazzy buoyancy ("You Don't Know").

    All of those components create an appetizing easy-listening experience tailored with a jazz lounge ambiance, but it somehow never congeals into a major standout. At first listen, one can question its production qualities and the songs' stretched-out melodies, but it's a passable escape from the conventions of our country's assembly-line R&B.

    Notable Tracks: "Still One," "I Want You" and "You Don't Know"

    Music: 2.5 stars
    Vocal: 3.5 stars
    Lyrics: 2.5 stars
    Production: 2.0 stars
    SoulTracks Call: Recommended

    By J Matthew Cobb

     
    Choice Cut - Jennifer Hartswick - "For You"