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Soul Express CD of the Month - January-February 2011


God's Creation

US Black Tree Records, 2010
Buy this album from our CD Shop
1) All to Myself 2) Angel 3) Another You 4) Are You Gonna Be Ready 5) Close the Door 6) God's Creation 7) Island Love 8) Latest Greatest Inspiration 9) Magic Carpet 10) My Place (Come Go with Me) 11) Only You 12) Precious Moments 13) Take This Rose 14) You're the Reason

Miles Jaye is one of the most prolific artists in the indie music scene, as he lists already 13 different album on his discography. You should be reminded, though, that part of his recordings are mainly instrumental albums on which Miles plays electronic violin - including his latest release Attenergy, which was released on April 19, 2011. However, Miles' previous album God's Creation, which was published in October 2010, should satisfy at least those soul lovers who have learnt to know Miles as a romantic soul performer in the Teddy Pendergrass mould.

As a matter of fact, Miles really plays it safe here to satisfy his long-time soul fans, as he has chosen to cover not only one but three old Pendergrass classics: Close the Door, and the slightly retitled My Latest, Greatest Inspiration and Come Go With Me. None of the new versions really rival with the original readings, but are solid enough readings of Teddy's bravuras and demonstrate that Miles is a good follower of the TP tradition when Teddy himself is no longer with us. There's a dangerous slip in the CD leafleat, though, as Close the Door is credited to Miles himself - lawsuits from Philadelphia might follow!

One of Miles' strong points during his career has always been that he is capable not only to sing sensuous, romantic ballads but also powerful, funky mid or uptempo movers as well. On this album, Are You Gonna Be Ready contains a great bassy groove, over which we are offered some jazzy keyboards and Miles' delicious baritone vocalising.

Two other uptempo tunes (Magic Carpet Ride, You're the Reason) follow in a similar, impressive style. Of the new ballad tunes, Take This Rose and the opening track All to Myself prove that Miles is still capable of writing classy new soul songs.

There are no duds on the album, but the sounds good have been much better. It's really frustrating that talents like Miles Jaye have to record on their own label, while the major labels are not interested in real soul any longer. But that's the reality of today's music scene. Listen to the cheap indie soul sounds, as you really have no options, if you still want to hear new soul music. This CD is Miles' best album since his 1998 release Odyssey.

- Ismo Tenkanen
Soul Express

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