Blues and Soul Music Magazine

Issue 1095

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Review

Reuben James: My Line Ft. Col3trane, Jay Prince, Vula & Soweto Kinch (Rufio Records)

Reuben 1

8

6.4

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UK release date 27.03.2020

Reuben James' neo-soul style brings to mind a kind of mad scientist experimentation or a manicured messiness at the root of this illuminating flurry of ideas. "My Line" is a fleeting look inside the dictionary of modern soul. Fresh sounding and highly seductive.

James is an emerging classicist, able to incorporate the attributes of the high and mighty who have gone before in the canon, melding a sound that is distinctly his own. It's all bound together with heavenly bv's, a Drake-like lead vocal and a plea bargaining rap over a thunderous cross-stick rhythm so good Questlove would clamour to put his name and attributes to it.

Highly melodic, dense but beautifully sewn together. This is promising stuff and adding Shabaka Hutchings, smokey sax to take the song out, shows a real touch of class. Positively soothing sounds in these troubled times.
Words Emrys Baird

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