You’re forgiven for judging this book by its cover. Smooth downtempo electronic music with jazz influences should already be setting off some alarms, and the sleepy sepia cover-art doesn’t help things much. But wait—this collaboration of musicians from the Naked Music label, lead by Jay Denes, know what they’re doing, and Re-Creation is no Buddha Bar or Thievery Corporation album. Instead, you get pleasantly flowing funk-lite house productions. Mixed as a cool stereo bath, Re-Creation is a non-threatening collection of beat-laden exotica, fit for even the most cynical of cuddle parties. The secret weapon here is that, while the vocals are pretty much universally in the mode of ethereal breathy diva with reverb backup, the music itself is defiantly awake, with slap bass and punchy drums to cut through the haze. Cuts like the relaxed it’s-all-good jam “This Time Around” show this effort to be the Sade of this genre, which is to say, that one exception that proves the rule. But Lover’s Rock was still something, and as potential dinner party music, Re-Creation isn’t half bad at sustaining the interest of an active listener.
// Notes from the Road
"Powerful Chicago soul-singer dips into the '60s and '70s while dabbling in Urdu, Punjabi and Italian.READ the article