The Chestnut Brothers - RetroSoul (2009)

The Chestnut Brothers
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The Chestnut Brothers - an old-soul duo hailing from Atlanta - pedal their Dennis Edwards, Howard Hewett-inspired chops on RetroSoul. The title is a fitting headline for an album paying respects to a more innocent chapter in Southern-fried soul music. Reminiscent of first-rate Johnnie Taylor (latter Malaco era) at its best, the twosome still stumble over a few discomforting chapters. "Girls" feels like a freakazoid pilgrimage ala R. Kelly. Even though musically it's not as monstrous as its set of lyrics, the song is still a worship anthem gone wrong ("Any shape/any size/Makes my fever rise/I get weak in the knees/Makes me hot/Everything they got/Brings out the freak in me/Amen")."My Lovey Dovey" is especially thrown together and hard to follow.

The Chestnut Brothers - an old-soul duo hailing from Atlanta - pedal their Dennis Edwards, Howard Hewett-inspired chops on RetroSoul. The title is a fitting headline for an album paying respects to a more innocent chapter in Southern-fried soul music. Reminiscent of first-rate Johnnie Taylor (latter Malaco era) at its best, the twosome still stumble over a few discomforting chapters. "Girls" feels like a freakazoid pilgrimage ala R. Kelly. Even though musically it's not as monstrous as its set of lyrics, the song is still a worship anthem gone wrong ("Any shape/any size/Makes my fever rise/I get weak in the knees/Makes me hot/Everything they got/Brings out the freak in me/Amen")."My Lovey Dovey" is especially thrown together and hard to follow. The album's sole groovy exploration is best expressed through the Frankie Beverly funk of "Whole Lotta You and Me (Grown & Sexy)." Add in the occasional slow jam (" Mountain of Love ") and the safe, Jodeci-ish "Come to Me," and Retrosoul isn't all that bad of a flashback. Yet, when you factor in a murky, low-budget production and a handful of snoozers anchored by dim lyrics and Retrosoul bears one fluff too many.

Notable tracks: "Whole Lotta You and Me (Grown & Sexy)" and " Mountain of Love."

Vocals: 2.0 stars
Lyrics: 1.5 stars
Music: 2.0 stars
Production: 2.0 starts

SoulTracks Call: Mildly recommended

By J. Matthew Cobb

 
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