Monday, November 26, 2007

Outskirts of Deep City

At some point, Numero is going to find its classic soul vault empty. The deep, deep well that they pull track after track of compelling, charming, and consistently competent soul music will one day run dry. Thankfully, that hasn't happened with the release of their newest collection, Eccentric Soul: Outskirts of Deep City. The Rollers erase any worries with the opening track, Knocking On The Wrong Door (mp3), with a Jacksonesque vocal melody backed with bass, keys, guitar, and drums working together smoothly to create a mood that convinces you that the singer is in an adolescent playground kind of love. How does this gem got lost somewhere in the dustbin? Then there's Helene Smith's What's In The Lovin' (mp3), which opens with horn triads, leading into a pulsing guitar line, like something that Beck might have sampled from heavily for Midnight Vultures. And Betty Wright's Mr. Lucky, which starts with a gunshot, and after hearing her passionately belt out a few lines, you know she would pull that trigger.

How much more of this stuff can there be to draw from? Let's hope the rediscovery process has just begun, and that every time we grow tiresome of the same old stuff that makes up the Hype Machine's "Most Blogged" list, we're treated to an Eccentric Soul comp, or a Grand Bahama Goombay, or a Good God! A Gospel Funk Hymnal, right around the corner.

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