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Soul Express CD Review

Alicia Myers: Peace of Mind CD

Peace of Mind
UK Love Town 2011

United We Stand - Fallin' Apart - I Really Really Want You Now - Journey - Stay - Weekend - Higher - I Will Stand By You - Fancy Dancer - Peace Of Mind

At last!!!!! A decent soul album released in 2011!!!!! Who would guess? AND, dear readers it was recorded here in the jolly old UK in no less than the ancient City of Bath! The Soulful Tim Jones and US legend David 'Pic' Conley of Surface fame are responsible for this set and, I ask you, how can they fail with the mighty chops of Alicia Myers very much upfront! For me this is a set of winners with no losers or fillers whatsoever. OK, only ten tracks but better for 10 great tracks than a scattering of half decent tunes floating amongst the dross.

The first groove, "United We Stand" is great but suffers - for me at any rate - with that annoying megaphone homeboy going "yeah, u-huh' all the way through it. None of this in the future, please. Let the crappy R&B scene stick to such clichés. Far better is the SUPERB "Fallin' Apart" with a seriously real 80s vibe making this one of THE tracks of 2011 for my money's worth. "I Really Want You Now" also crosses the winning line at the same time and is another midtempo smash that would not be out of place in the mid 1990s. This is real class, beating almost every 2011 release I have heard and dismissed this year - which has been most of them, I fear.

The brief and sultry "Stay" could easily slip against a recent Maysa track nicely and the comparison is a very, very good one. Pure class. The funky, Steve Arrington-like "Higher" will also do your soul some real good, and crammed with funky 80s goodness! "I Will Stand By You" is another crackin' tune with an early 80s yet thoroughly Y2K feel, and should win her many many new fans with this positive, upright number. Fans of her 80s work with One Way will love this uptempo Kevin McCord-type effort called "Fancy Dancer" with a great bassline. Track 10, the typically One Way-ish ballad "Peace Of Mind" closes proceedings admirably ad the guitar, piano and so on smack of classic One Way and what a note to finish the album on! This is, for me, a completely essential album and sweeps aside anything else around it at the moment. Pure class.

Barry Towler

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