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Soul Express Album Review

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US Native Records, 2007
1) I Can Remember - 3:28 2) One More Time - 3:45 3) Lady You Are - 3:16 4) 5th of September - 3:58 5) Hit Da Shaw - 3:42 6) Baby Stop Frontin - 4:32 7) I Really Love U Love - 4:35 8) You Complete Me - 4:09 9) I Really Love U Love [Remix] - 4:35 10) Hit Da Shaw [Remix] - 3:44 11) I Won't Complain - 3:47

Une (pronounced You-nay) has a compelling, authoritative voice and reminded me immediately of the late, great Carl Anderson. Other times I here the merest ghost of Ty Causey also, which isn't surprising in the least as I always hear a bit of Carl Anderson in him also. This CD is excellent, especially for the soul tracks of which there are many. There are one or two songs on here which should appeal to the younger R&B crowd, and without wanting to sound negative I have to say that these not only sound out of place, but also that Une is far too dynamic and talented a vocalist to be doing stuff like that. I can understand why artists do this, though, in the current climate, even if I have the luxury of totally disagreeing with it.

Of the songs I particularly feel akin to, musically, we are talking quality. The backings are programmed but I have no issue with that as long as it is original, melodic and intelligent. Check out the warm opening effort “I Can Remember”. This is a solid performance from Une and he has full command vocally. In fact, I would very much like to hear him on some more jazzy material. He would excel at that. Track two is another song well worth your attention. “One More Time” is definitely in the Ty Causey bag, and if you appreciated the great Man's latest CD, “Expressions”, then you will certainly like this CD also. The following song has a mid 90s indie flavour to it and, again, Une does the business with his golden tonsils. Une excels when he allows his expansive voice to expound atop the groove.

Of the more urban grooves, the rhythmic “Stop Frontin'” is definitely the best of them. The use of tinkling piano and the discarding of the megaphone homey going “aww yea” does a lot to give more credibility to this sort of material. “I Really Love You Love” comes in two versions, and the original is the one I would plumb for as there is some tasty guitar and echoey electric piano on here that works very well indeed. The remix is also worthwhile, but musicallymore reserved. Vocally I can hear Lenny Williams attempting this. Try it – you may well prefer it to the original.

I really, really love “You Complete Me” both musically and lyrically. Musically, the melancholic piano tinkles away almost idley in tandem with the beautiful daydreaminess of the song matter. This is stripped down, rather spartan, effort but the synth strings and timbales sweeten it considerably. This is a dreamy, delightful song of the highest order. As a début set, Une has delivered a strong one. I really hope that this man returns in future with more tasty treats as he has more talent than any of what the majors seem happy to sling our way. Keep 'em peeled!
- Barry Towler

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