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Tuesday, February 19, 2008

CONNIE PRICE & THE KEYSTONES - Tell Me Something

CONNIE PRICE & THE KEYSTONES - Tell Me Something (Ubiquity) Comentários: Anyone judging Connie Prince and The Keystones on their name might assume that they’re a retro soul act in the vein of Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings. In fact they actually make a high-quality blend of raw funk and hip hop vocals and only have two main members — neither of them called Connie. These two members mix live funk and soul with incredible guest rappers and vocalists to produce music that is truly stunning. Any album that opens with the legendary Big Daddy Kane spitting lyrics like he’s still a hungry young MC, as this does with ‘Across The Board’, is bound to make an impact. His rhymes are perfectly matched to the down-tempo funk groove that Dan Ubick & Todd M. Simon (the men behind the Connie Prince and The Keystones concept) create. Wailing guitars, dramatic strings and crystal clear horns all combine to make it seem like you’re listening to a lost cut from Isaac Haye’s Shaft soundtrack, with Kane taking Hayes’ place as vocalist. In many ways the rest of Tell Me Something struggles to live up to the standard set by ‘Across The Board’, but that’s not to say that it’s not great; it’s just that the bar is set so high by Big Daddy Kane that almost anything would feel like a bit of a let-down after that. Having said that, Aloe Blacc provides wonderful vocals on ‘Tell Me’; his more traditional singing style recalls The Cinematic Orchestra, but doesn’t fall into the maudlin tone that act has adopted recently due to the sheer joy of the soul backing. The only totally instrumental track, ‘Hoagies Revenge’, is a wonderful racket — all Hammond organ and Fred Wesley style horns, but the lack of rapping or singing means that it’s difficult to differentiate it from a host of other modern soul acts. Luckily the quality vocals are soon back in force with ‘Master At Work’ featuring Ohmega Watts being a particular case in point; the way his smooth, intelligent raps sit perfectly with the funk backing proves once more that it’s a global disgrace that Watts isn’t a huge star. For those familiar with Ohmega Watt’s brilliance, the fact that Ubiuity Records has a habit of releasing amazing albums will come as no surprise and therefore the news that Tell Me Something by Connie Price and The Keystones is another such piece of work is unlikely to come as a shock. Meanwhile the rest of the world will be in for a very nice surprise if this album has even a fraction of the success it deserves. in flyglobalmusic [Para Ouvir/Samples]
Links:Connie Price & The Keystones on MySpace, Ubiquity Records

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