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Soul Express CD of the Month - April 2010

Cool Million: Back for More

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Back for More

German SedSoul/Benson CD, 2010
1) Sweet Baby 2) Back For More 3) Making Love 4) Sprinkle 5) I See You 6) Love The Beat 7) Come To Me 8) Make A Million 9) Stay Close 10) Magiq 11) Loose 12) Thought We Ha 13) Just Dance 14) Hurry Home 15) You Got Style 16) Back Together

At the time of writing this review, this CD had spent amazing seven weeks on top of The Sweet Rhythm Chart by Solar Radio, and there's really no doubt that the release of this CD has been the most talked about event in the soul circles this year. If you need further evidence, check what has been the hottest topic on Modern Soul Forum this year: the thread about this album has received more the 3500 views and 140 replies!

So what's the fuzz all about? You only have to check the guest list on this album: featured lead vocalist include Meli'sa Morgan, Eugene Wilde, Al Broomfield, Dee Dee Wilde, Rena Scott, Peggi Blu, Leroy Burgess and Yvonne Gage. As the thank you's on the CD cover aptly put it, "a good singer is the main ingredients of soul music, and you ladies & gentlemen spiced it up".

The artists picked to the album also reveal that the two guys behing Cool Million - Rob Hardt and Frank Ryle - are eager aficiodos of mid-80s soul & funk. Their first album Going out Tonight was already a solid reincarnation of mid-80s club soul sounds in the vein of S.O.S. Band and Loose Ends, and now the twosome has been able to take the concept even further, when a whole bunch of classy mid-80s soul stars have joined them to record this album.

The set opens with one of the biggest favourites on the album: Meli'sa Morgan proves it in the intro lines already that she is still vocally in awesome condition, wailing and soaring so ultra-soulfully even before the first verse of the song starts! The track is an excellent club mover and rates among Meli'sa's best ever uptempo recordings.

Another 80s favourite singer Eugene Wilde shines on the Kashif-type bouncer Back for More, but as a song more appealing is the next tune Making Love, sung by an Australian singer Jeniqua.

I See You may not be a characteristic song for Peggi Blu, but it's a pleasant melodious mid-swayer anyway. The best vocalist on Cool Million's debut set, Laura Jackson has deservedly been given one track to sing on the new album, too. Entitled Love the Beat, the track is not one of the most arresting on this CD, but then again the competition is now much harder than on the previous set!

Rena Scott has demonstrated in recent years that she is still vocally in top condition, and although Come to Me is more club-oriented than her usual rootsier soul material, I'm very happy to see Cool Million gave more exposure to this highly underrated soul songstress.

Much more familiar in club circles is Leroy Burgess, who is certainly perfectly at home laying vocals on the groovy party track Cool to Make a Million. It really sounds like a trip back to the early 80s club tunes. Eugene Wilde's brother Al Broomfield still sounds good on the next mover Stay Close, while his brother and sister, Eugene and Dee Dee Wilde duet the spirited midtempo song Loose.

Admittedly a couple of tracks at the end of the album are less impressive, but with sixteen full-length cuts this CD is certainly worth every penny, although the price of the hard copy of this CD has been exceptionally high. But quite simply, this is an album you cannot afford to miss!
- Ismo Tenkanen
Soul Express

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