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Soul Express Album of the Month

April 1998


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SEAN OLIVER

Solitaire
(UK Boomtang Records CD, 1997)
Can I Flow? - Solitaire - These Are The Days - The Words - You And Me - Dear Mary - Need To Be Alone - Sweetest Goodbye - The Rhythm - Driftin' - Magic - Funny Love - Can I Flow (Jazz Mix)

This CD has been going down a storm on Jazz FM and it will not take you too long to see why. As far as our music goes I suppose that it is a step to the left in terms of musical style. By this I mean that it is an unusual yet delightful mix of musical styles ranging from soul, garage, jazz and swingbeat...all together! This is well summed up by the lyrics of Can I Flow which are quite different. This isn't a bad thing at all as you will admit to giving a listen to the soulful and synth drenched Solitaire. It just has that tinge of 'difference about it which is really fresh.

From this we swing into some good-time soulful funky tune with These Are The Days. As a vocalist, I would liken him to Ruscola. The feel of You And Me is a fantastic fusion of early garage in the style of Richard Rogers' I Can't Stop Loving You and a touch of Salsoul thrown in for good measure. Indeed, Magic is similar and owes more to Mr. Fingers ala Back To Love. Superb, I assure you! Tracks such as Need To Be Alone really are ones that weedle their way into your head and stay there.

For ballads, check out Sweetest Goodbye which have the ghost of an R Kelly / Isley Brothers aura to it. A jazzy moment is on offer with Driftin' complete with female co-vocal and Lonnie Liston Smith -ish keyboards. I think that this CD is a very safe bet!


-Barry Towler


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