Thursday, 5 November 2009
Looking to fill a hole with some soul? Look no further! ...Just Visiting Too is the new (and FREE) EP by Zo! It's essentially an EP of cover versions featuring the vocalists Yahzarah, Carlitta Durand, Sy Smith, Phonte and Darien Brockington. You can grab the EP as a free download from The Foreign Exchange website.
01. Perfect Angel feat. Yahzarah
02. Nights Over Egypt feat. Carlitta Durand
03. Crazy You feat. Sy Smith
04. Holding You, Loving You
05. My Flame feat. Phonte
06. Somethin Special feat. Yahzarah
07. The Highways of My Life (Pts. 1&2) feat. Darien Brockington
So, who's up for a history lesson? Don't all raise your hands at once!
Perfect Angel was written by Stevie Wonder and originally performed by Minnie Riperton. Yahzarah does the vocal proud, as does the production and instrumentation by Zo!. Also worth noting that all the production and instrument playing on the EP is done by Zo! and nobody else!
Carlitta Durand sings on Nights Over Egypt, a track originally performed by The Jones Girls and released in 1982. It pays a sweet homage to the original, whilst the sharp production and delivery gives it that contemporary edge. It's very smooth, but holds a solid groove throughout.
The Prince track Crazy You sees Sy Smith provide the silky vocals. This is a fantastic take on a track originally performed by an artist of the opposite sex. I love how it's been flipped to give a different vibe, but still maintains the emotion of the original.
Holding You, Loving You is a Don Blackman track and gives Zo! an opportunity to flex his instrumental muscles. Some might recognise the track from numerous records that have sampled it. Like; Jay-Z, People Under The Stairs and Slum Village. This is both delicate and heavy, the end product of the combined strengths of quality production and inexplicable musicianship.
Phonte provides the vocals on the Bobby Caldwell track My Flame. It's an absolutely beautiful take on the track. Deeply soulful, full of sentiment, and with an infectious groove. Perfect soul for a soothing afternoon.
Yahzarah is back for the second time on the track Somethin' Special which was originally a Rod Temperton track performed by Quincy Jones with Patti Austin. This is another example of retro soul being represented in, not just a contemporary fashion, but a genuinely *decent* fashion. First off, it sounds crazy (to my old ears) to call early 80s soul 'retro', but hey, it's been nearly 30 years now! This stuff still sounds fresh as the day it was originally pressed!
The final track on the EP is The Highways Of My Life (Pts. 1 & 2) feat. Darien Brockington. This was originally by The Isley Brothers, and Zo! and Darrien do it a fantastic justice. It's simply beautiful and gives me nothing short of goosebumps. Darien's talent has never been a secret, but he has done a wonderful job of covering the vocals on this track, particularly considering there is only one Darien and not a trio of them!
Call it a sort of taster for the upcoming Zo! full LP, SunStorm, but this EP of covers is very much of its own being. A solid EP full of fantastic instrumentation and brilliant singing. It beats the hell out of a lot of new stuff coming out and stands up tall against the originals it has covered. Oh, and need you be reminded that this is FREE?!?!?!
Don't mug yourself, get it downloaded.