Reviewed by Paul Poulton
The Collective collate a series of grooves, rhythms and rhymes that together make up their first collective CD. The two women and 10 men are all busy in music in other directions so together they have a lot of potential to come up with 13 songs that are burgeoning with taste. Turkish Delight is full of eastern promise and Fruit Pastels burst with flavour; this debut is tantalisingly close to both musical delight, being full of promise and ready to burst with flavour - it's all in there somewhere, but getting it out is not so easy. The 13 songs have varied and diverse styles all loosely gathered under the heading of R&B. There are George Benson style rhythms, cool muzak, reggae, rap, up-tempo soulful tunes, and a hint at George Michael's "Fast Love" chart sound. "All The Earth" is exactly the sort of music some DJs like to play while doing a long talkie bit on radio, it's a great tune with its upright bass sound and distant vocals. The CD has some fine live drumming, neat guitar playing, jazz keyboard chords and to top it all off, it's spiritually alive. The 12 members of Dunamis all attend the same London church, God's providence at work, because they didn't happen to work together musically until this project. Diversification can of course work for you or against you in music, some groups manage it okay like the Scissor Sisters, who draw on several styles, but others tend to disappear after one CD. I wouldn't like to see that happen to this collective who clearly brim with potential. To get the full flavour out of these talented people there needs to be someone strong at the helm who will say 'yea or nay', a tough MD, the production needs some authority about it. The broth could be so good, care is needed because too many cooks.! Vocals are sometimes let through the net that are teetering on the brink, some songs get an interesting groove going, which repeats without anything being added to keep the listener's attention. Some songs need a spanner on them, the arrangements need tightening up. The mix needs levelling out a bit. These are small-ish kind of things but can make the difference between a great album and an also-ran.
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