Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Beverley Knight - Soul UK (2011)

Beverly Knight is a brilliant soul singer, who grew up at a time when black British music wasn’t as united as it is in these days of grime riding high in the pop charts. High quality dance and soulful pop acts struggled to have more than one hit single, and very few – Rod Temperton’s Heatwave and Jazzie B’s Soul II Soul are notable exceptions – were able to maintain albums success and international fame.

Both those acts are referred to here on Soul UK. ‘Soul’ in this insistence is a fairly broad church, referring to the (generally brilliant) soul pop made in Britain over the last 30 years. As a testament to the often-overlooked music made in the days when RnB still meant Big Joe Turner, not BeyoncĂ©, Soul UK is remarkably effective. The songs covered here are wide-ranging, from the Prince-like rock pop of Roachford’s Cuddly Toy to Heatwave’s gorgeous ballad Always and Forever. Knight’s memory and taste are impeccable – it’s nothing but a joy to hear Junior Giscombe’s Mama Used to Say or Princess’ Say I’m Your Number One again.

- David Quantick

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