An incredible heart ‘n’ soul story continues this spring with the release of Reel People’s first original album in over a decade, Love2. Produced by core collective Oli Lazarus, Mike Patto and Toni Economides, and with a fresh vocal line-up including Raheem DeVaughn, Muhsinah, Chantae Cann, Michael Champion, Paula, Jill Rock Jones, Eric Roberson and Arrested Development’s Speech, this super-fine, 10-track opus marks a further powerful evolution of the Reel People sound. Weaving contemporary R&B sensibilities into the collective’s classic grooved-out flow, Love2 embraces the out-and-out euphoria of love but offers an entirely unique voice.
Following the epic cascade of Love2’s short but exuberant Intro comes cosmic neo-soul glide Save A Lil Love. Fronted by New Jersey’s smooth yet engaging Eric Roberson, and built upon swirls of spacious synths, heightened rhythms, the track instantly reminds of Reel People’s renown for quality production whilst plumbing new emotive depths. Everything’s So Crazy, performed by US songstress Jill Rock Jones, digs similarly deep – another stirring demonstration of soulful flavour with Jones moving elegantly across languid guitars and spacious beats.
A swaggering piano stomp and some smart phrasing from Michael Champion give If I Was Your Man particular personality. On Fly, meanwhile, Paula ensures dextrous delivery meets snappy production to effectively convey the empowering sass and confidence she intends – “I’ve got one life to live y’all/And I’m sure as hell gonna live it.” It’s the first of two outings for the versatile Atlanta-based singer, who brings earthbound maturity and heft to later lilting and acoustic number Vibe despite its idealistic lover’s gaze.
Déjà vu puts us, rather aptly, in mind of events that have already come to pass. Featuring Grammy-nominated US singer-songwriter Raheem DeVaughn, the track is melodic, honey-sweet bliss and further nods to Reel People’s effortless tapping of influences both old and new. Elsewhere, another gifted Atlanta artist Chantae Cann applies subtle, silky finesse to Dance In Her Eyes, with its warm, hazy and immersive glow, not to mention smart spoken word accompaniments courtesy of Dayne Jordan.
Moving on, Reel People’s final cuts continue to push new ground. Fizzing bars courtesy of Speech give the seriously groove-some I Never Knew pomp, pace and purpose, whilst Washington DC’s Muhsinah (a Grammy nominee like DeVaughn, with huge pedigree for disrupting soulful norms and forms) bosses closing number Something New – a powerful re-draft of the R&B rulebook which layers its song atop tight bossa tempos, sparkling synths and jagged electro-stutters. The contrast of flavours really grabs, as it does across the entire album.
Love2 is a monumental addition to the Reel People canon, following acclaimed album releases Second Guess, Seven Ways To Wonder and Retroflection.
New songs and sounds, but the same soulful passion and craftsmanship. New friends and flourishes but the same mission to move hearts, minds and dancefloors.
IN STOCK NOW.
|02.||Save A Lil Love (feat. Eric Roberson)||Listen|
|03.||If I Was Your Man (feat. Michael Champion)||Listen|
|04.||Dance In Her Eyes (feat. Chantae Cann & Dayne Jordan)||Listen|
|05.||Something New (feat. Muhsinah)||Listen|
|01.||Fly (feat. Paula)||Listen|
|02.||Deja Vu (feat. Raheem DeVaughn)||Listen|
|03.||Everything’s So Crazy (feat. Jill Rock Jones)||Listen|
|04.||Vibe (feat. Paula)||Listen|
|05.||I Never Knew (feat. Speech)||Listen|