Stone & Sky

Crowd Company

Vintage League Music, 2017

http://www.crowdcompanyfunk.com

REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 12/22/2017

Crowd Company is an eight-piece funk soul ensemble from Britain with a penchant for a Hammond organ, horns, and sounds from the '60s and '70s. After a couple years spent touring for their debut Now Or Never, the band aligned with Soulive's Alan Evans, who produced this sophomore disc.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Lead off track “Take Off The Crown” lets us know exactly what we're getting into with funky, groovy sounds against sultry female vocals, horns, and throwback sounds to more laidback decades. First single “Saw You Yesterday” follows and brings us into soulful '60s feelings with memorable hooks and infectious finger snapping. The band then switches directions into the balladry of “Can't Get Enough,” where the atmosphere is large, powerful and ebullient. Tunes like “Soar” with its three-part vocal harmonies certainly do soar, bringing to mind Jackson 5 comparisons, while “Fever” is a sweaty, lush display of emotion and precise instrumentation that is sure to get your temperature rising.

But it's not just funk and soul on the menu here. Deeper cuts like “Away With You” show even more diversity with a subtle rockabilly influence, and bonus track “Blind Pig” shows lineage into ska rhythms.

The meat of the album, however, is the pure funk selectionsm such as the giant basslines of “Getting The Groove” or the jazz-tinged funk acrobatics of “The Spark.” Even the instrumental “Blind Pig” is a highlight on the album with intricate horns and a feel-good vibe that will get your body moving.

Armed with three vocalists – Rob Fleming, Esther Dee, and Jo Marschall – who all provide first rate singing, alongside four separate songwriters, Crowd Company makes this an effort that is nothing short of genre defying. Even though soul and funk are certainly not new sounds, Crowd Company's version of these time-honored traditions sounds new and exciting and is definitely worth a spin for the inclined ears.

Rating: B+

User Rating: Not Yet Rated


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