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Issue 1088

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Review

Trevor Nelson: Slow Jams (UMOD)

Trevor Nelson: Slow Jams (UMOD)

9

6.1

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UK release date 12.01.2018

The DJ with the Midas touch spins his magic once again and is set to top his 900,000 breath-taking UK album sales record with this new whopping tome of slow jam R&B blessedness - 54 tracks to get you in the mood and with Valentine's just around the corner what more could brighten up your loved one's day than planting this in their lap!

Alicia Keys kicks off proceedings with the diatonic sounding "If I Ain't Got You" an ode to Aretha if ever there was, followed by En Vogue's piano-led "Don't Let Go Love" a class act who were riding high while Beyoncé was still in pigtails and what's more they will be releasing a new album 'Electric Café' this year so stay tuned.

The boys turn is next with R&B King, Usher showing us who's boss with "Burn" and Alexander O Neal follows suit with his first 80's hit (highlighting Monte Moir's timeless songwriting) "If You Were Here Tonight" and talking about that very subject, the King of Kings is up next, Marvin Gaye's majisterial "Let's Get It On" which leads sweetly into Lionel Richie's "Love Will Find A Way" - the thread is strong and the night is long and the familiar beat of Gota Yashiki, a sample that shaped so many Soul ll Soul hits, jumps out next with the band's last hit "Missing You". Classy and indelibly anachronistic,like many of the tracks Nelson has carefully blended.

CD1 goes on and on with classic contributions from the likes of Jodeci, Blackstreet, Randy Crawford, Mary J. Blige Barry White, Teddy Pendergrass, Gregory Abbot and finally Simply Red. The only suspect track is Bobby Brown's "Roni" which sadly sounds dated and definitely of its time but hey, 18 out 19 bonsa beauts ain't too shabby...

CD2 ramps it further with the likes of current acts Bruno Mars stamping his global authority on "That's What I Like" and the eerie sounding "The Hills" by The Weeknd is an inspired inclusion. Other highlights include the rhodes piano-led brilliance of Patrice Rushen's "Remind Me" - lesser known than Rose Royce's transcendent "Wishing On A Star'"(which follows) but equally as classy. One thing you'll notice by the tracking of this exhaustive compilation is it hangs together extremely well...track after track roll into one another effortlessly and by the time the Queen of Soul enters, you should be feeling tingles up the spine of as the gates of heaven gloriously open with Aretha Franklyn's "Until You Come Back To Me".

Anita Baker's "Feel The Need" continues the ecstasy with the boys now trailing as Freddie Jackson and Eugene Wilde get their asses whooped by the girls until the conscious coupling of Keith Sweat and Jacci McGhee restores the musical balance with the soaring togetherness of "Make It Last Forever" (we must be on the entrees now?) and Johnny Gill's "My My My" and the fab Brian McKnight prove they have staying power - this the most pivotal part of this passionate/sensual compilation as it offers yet more R&B killers in the shape of the third and final part...

CD3 A denouement if you like, bounces off with the playful "I Wanna Sex You Up" by Colour Me Badd and the embattled and single-minded R Kelly gets a look in too with "'Bump & Grind", which still widens the palette today as does the woefully forlorn brilliance of Amy Winehouse's "Love Is A Losing Game" and Robin Thicke's delicious "Lost Without You" adding to the general bittersweetness of it all.

There's so much rich heritage of R&B here it's impossible not to like as Nelson excels himself yet again, defining a genre and bagging it in one. Enjoy this BIG bag full of absolute gems with the ones you love, replete with pure sexiness and sassy to the core with strings plus things, innuendo stripped bare and smoothly built to lead anyone within earshot toward a classic climatic experience. Need I say more?

BELOW: Any excuse to listen to Robin Thicke "Lost Without You"
Words Emrys Baird

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