The debut full-length from Kylie Auldist succeeds precisely where the albums of fellow Tru Thoughts chanteuse Alice Russell faltered. While Alice was placed with button pushing producer TM Juke for her solo debut, and her other two CDs were spotty compilations of various remixes and guest appearances, Kylie’s first headlining record features full support from the Bamboos (who act as the Quantic Soul Orchestra touring band whenever Will “Quantic” Holland is in the land down under). Similar to Russell and Sharon Jones, Auldist has a wonderfully smoky, well-traveled voice that craves a character driven, organic backdrop, one that head Bamboo Lance Fergusson orchestrates in the funkiest fashion possible. Only the cover of Jeff Buckley’s “Everybody Here Wants You” steps out of character a little, but the mammoth horn section won’t let you forget where you are. The rest is pure, unadulterated throwback funk and soul stripped from the bared bricks of Stax and Motown. Kylie easily carries the center of the album and if there was any question about the Bamboos being in the same league as the QSO or the Dap-Kings before, there isn’t now. That leaves Just Say as the best funk album of the year thus far.
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// Notes from the Road
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