Blues and Soul Music Magazine

Issue 1084

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Review

FULL FLAVA: MUSIC IS OUR WAY OF LIFE

Full Flava: Music Is Our Way Of Life

6

5.9

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UK release date 14.05.2007

Birmingham̢۪s Full Flava crew return to the fray here with a very decent set of classic soul covers. What makes it all so very decent is the strength of the vocalists and the quality of the songs.

Producer Rob Derbyshire has chosen a bevy of front line chanteuses that includes Beverlei Brown, Kelli Sae, Carleen Anderson, and Ce Ce Peniston and the songs are all bona fide modern soul classics – I’m talking stuff like ‘The Glow Of Love’ and ‘Was That All It Was’â€Â¦and it’s the ironically named modern room that Full Flava are aiming at.

I say ‘ironically,’ ‘cos so-called ‘modern’ soul is stuffed with retro references and that very conservative of soul tribes will lap this up. Derbyshire, you see, hasn’t strayed too far from the originals. He’s tweaked and twiddled but he retains the essence of the original songs. Case in point is the Chantay Savage vocalised version of EW&F’s ‘September.’ This take is less hectic than the original – but in both beats and sentiment it’s perfect for the modern room. Donna Gardier's version of ‘Lovin’ You Is Sweeter Than Ever’ is possibly the most different – but not too outré. All very enjoyable but a critic less charitable than me might ask what’s the point?
Words Bill Buckley

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