John Turrell: The Kingmaker (Big Chill Label)
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UK release date 08.09.2013
Singer/frontman John Turrell pops his head up above the parapet to offer up his first solo album, "The Kingmaker" - with imaginative flair in an individual manner that is wholly his. This is a highly polished affair indeed, proper soul music with a modern twist.
Marvel at JT's intensity as his distinctive voice has been made all the more effective by his use of dynamics, long with his thorough attention to the meaning and expression of each song's lyrics and mood. He is a mood master!
"Day In Day Out", a staggeringly good ballad is delivered with a sense of theatre that is exceedingly rare in his profession. He avoids un-gimmicked emotion, JT will take a direct route to the essence of your soul with this highly emotional charged song that will literally stop you in your tracks (just like Smoove & Turrell's stonking tune "Gabriel")
"Eating Stones" sees the doleful balladeer floating over a beautifully stoned out groove, replete with a vibe worthy of anything Muscle Shoals delivered in their heyday. Some Stax like guitar in the style of Papa Staples just adds the icing on the cake to this very stylish and distinctive piece of work. Great songwriting full of deep self expression and a sweet, sweet production is in evidence throughout this enchanting platter.
Some exquisite sampled wizardry appears on "Chasing Shadows" - a lolloping hip-hop inspired piece of blessedness. "Won't Get Fooled Again" sees his full live band get right into their stride with some magnificent sax and disco bass over this peach of a tune - a production definitely worthy of a Tom Moulton remix!
The track-listing on this album sits incredibly well...It's all here in abundant taste and the shades of Gospel are a nice touch! (the closing/uplifting track "Home"). JT has selected material which is worth investing time and imagination on - both his and the listener's.
"The Kingmaker" is a towering achievement which should, in my humble opinion and deservedly so, thrust John Turrell into the limelight...
This is a class act!
Words Emrys Baird