Soul Express Album Review
Buy this album from our CD Shop
US Concord, 2008
1) The Look Of Love 2) Funky Bahia 3) Waters Of March 4) Odo-Ya 5) Somewhere In The Hills 6) Lugar Comum 7) Dreamer 8) Morning In Rio 9) Y Vamos Ya 10) Catavento 11) Acode 12) Agua De Beber 13) Les Eaux De Mars 14) E Vamos La (Let's Go)
I didn't expect to like this album new album from one of my heroes,
Sergio Mendes. Not one bit, mainly as I HATED the inclusion of
the Black Eyed Peas on the maiming of some old, cherished
favouries on his last set. This collaboration with the likes of the said
Black Eyed Peas on his last album really was too much for me, and
I was NOT impressed when I heard it! When I saw the same ingredients on this album
I groaned inwardly and thought 'I'll
give this one a chance, BUT I won't like it..'. I'm glad I did. For me
this is his most consistent set for years!
“Encanto” boasts a rare ability to blend pop, Brazilian, jazz and rap effortlessly.
Possibly this is too eclectic for some listeners BUT for me the real gems are the
out-and-out Brazilian cuts. I write this on yet another hot, perfect sunny day in
late July here on the East Coast and this is the perfect soundtrack for this kind
of blistering hot day. PLEASE give the opening song, “The Look Of Love”, a chance...
the warm opening music enters into a samba beat and Fergie and
Will.I.Am from the Black Eyed Peas doing a rhyme atop this.
How easy it could have been to have hit the skip button. Don't, as this is
actually a very hot, more-ish version and Fergie sounds very, very sexy
on this, and not one mention of humps or lady bumps thank goodness. This is SUPERB.
The keyboards on here are dreamy in
the extreme as they are straight from the early 80s, and the
Carnival in Rio groove is addictive. Similarly, the excellent
“Funky Bahia” with the wonderful Siedah Garrett and
the more subdued but excellent Will.I.Am on vocal is an essential track;
lush, humid and dripping with tropical flavours this is Sergio Mendes
at his 21st Century best!
The delightful and talented Ledisi adds her exuberance to the
standard Antonio Carlos Jobim tune “Waters Of March” and does
so with real gusto! The bassline carries you along nicely! Natalie Cole
is another joy to behold at any time, and she springs into action on another Jobim
standard, “Somewhere In The Hills” and sounds absolutely brilliant! Nice flugel
horn and percussion. Perfect, so it is! I also adore the downtempo “Dreamer”
which features vocalist Lani Hall and our old friend, Herb
Alpert on trumpet. This is absolutely gorgeous. Believe it or not,
this song is the first collaboration between Alpert and Mendes!
Unbelievable, but better late than never.
The samba and flugel drizzled “Morning In Rio” is a real highlight and I
cannot play this enough. If you are a fan of all things Samba then you
will adore this track, as you will the vocal cut “Y Vamos Ya (...Let's Go)”
with Juanes on main vocal. If you are a fan of both Joyce
and Sabrinha Malheiros then “Acode” with Vanessa Da Mata
will sate your hunger. This driving latin rhythm is really a driving force
towards the climax of this album – a strong one at that! Another Jobin tune,
“Agua De Beber” features Will.I.Am and is updated and tweaked for today to
great effect. Musically I am in heaven listening to this...the warm fender rhodes...
the percussion and vocals...wow! Even Will sounds good on this, and fits well
a Latin rhythm. I am so pleased I did not pass this over, so please cast aside
doubts and dive on in...the Waters Of March are very warm!
- Barry Towler
of the Month in 2008
of the Month in 2007
of the Month in 2006
of the Month in 2005
of the Month in 2004
of the Month in 2003
of the Month in 2002
of the Month in 2001
of the Month in 2000
of the Month in 1999
of the Month in 1998
of the Month in 1997
our home page