Solaa: Steps in Time
By Gareth Shute
Perhaps I should just save time and tell you that Scribe features on three of these tracks, relying on that fact probably being enough to get you to give it a listen. For readers needing a little more encouragement, there is plenty more to be discovered further into the album. The smooth soul sounds and funky rhythms are in the same ballpark as Opensouls; with drums, bass and guitar laying down a groove then layered over with keys (Rhodes), synthesiser, turntable cuts and horn lines. The band is restrained enough to let the assorted vocalists take the limelight, yet there are plenty of opportunities for the musicians to show their chops. No surprise to see Ladi6 turning up - she must be one of the most in demand vocalists in the country - and here she shows her skills at both rapping and singing. Elsewhere the soul voices of Hollie Smith, Nat Rose, and Cherie Mathieson lay the sugar coating to various tracks and Isaac Aesili also lays aside his trumpet and to front up to the mic. Probably the album's biggest discovery is rapper USOuljah, who shows that his time with Hamofide and the S.A.S crew have left him with a nice low-range delivery that complements tracks such as first single Chance. So if you've played the Fat Freddy's album a few too many times and need something else to slip on the CD player, then look no further.