Gold Complex – New Soul
Soul | R&B
Consistency is king. Any songwriter worth their salt can pen a great song given enough time and a hefty dollop of luck, it’s an all together more challenging endeavour to make a great album. To bring together a group of songs that stand up in their own right, but also compliment each other as a whole. There have been some great soul records in recent years, and while a couple of them reach impressive heights that New Soul doesn’t quite manage, none of them can compete when it comes to delivering hit after hit. Track after track you’re bombarded with warm brass, infectious hooks, and some of the most versatile vocals you’re ever likely to hear. There are a few surprises dotted about too, just to keep you on your toes. Take ‘Meant To Dance’, which features just enough dance track style production to mix things up without falling into too commercial territory, and boasts a brilliant breakdown that sees the piano and guitar facing off in a fun musical duel.
Even in the few instances where the album starts to falter, the band manage to pick things up again. The hooks fall flat on the first half of ‘Driver’, and just as you start to think you’ve found a filler track, the band takes it back a notch with a more chilled out vibe and delivers a sax solo worthy of Clarence Clemons. Likewise, just when I start getting the feeling that ‘Not Another Love Song’ is missing something it descends into a whirlwind progressive breakdown. Gold Complex have an uncanny way of turning a false start into a triumphant finish. There’s no missteps to be found in the album’s finest offering though; the epic, slow-burning title track. ‘New Soul’ ends the record on fine form as the vocals steal the show, shifting from breathy pleading whispers in your ear, to raw, passionate cries to the heavens and back again with the greatest of ease. Gold Complex are simply on fire throughout on this stunning debut, and have delivered our first proper album of the year contender. The old soul is dead, long live New Soul.