STYLE: Pop RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 176201-28500 LABEL: Vibe45 FORMAT: CD Album
Reviewed by Lins Honeyman
As Cross Rhythms' recent chat with British soul singer Tony Momrelle highlighted, the former vocalist with acid jazz outfit Incognito has had a long and varied career ranging from a stint with short-lived gospel trio Seven to high profile appearances with luminaries such as Elton John, Whitney Houston and Stevie Wonder. It's the latter that Momrelle sounds most like on this, his first album to go out on his recently created Vibe 45 label, with the upbeat funk/soul opener "Rising Up" chiming in with the overriding theme of optimism whilst the man's supremely soulful vocals, some stabbing brass and busy bass lines give more than hint of Wonder but all to good effect. Elsewhere, the breezy pop of "Sunshine" and the stripped back "I Should Have Loved You More" showcases Momrelle's ability to turn out songs set in different moods whilst the thought-provoking "We Had Searched For Heaven" is very much a Marvin Gaye-shaped song of social commentary. Momrelle's standing as a successful mainstream artist with appearances on BBC Radio 2 and Later.With Jools Holland under his belt means that he tends to keep references to his Christian faith fairly well concealed but it's worth noting that "I Can't Live Without You" could easily be as much a song of praise to God as it is to a woman. Occasionally, proceedings feel a tad too radio friendly with the likes of the idealistic "I Wanna Be Loved" lacking depth but this does not take away from the fact that Momrelle has turned out a classy and varied album that will appeal to the multitudes. A live cover of the Ray Charles classic "I Believe To My Soul" - featuring a stunning guitar solo from Ben Jones - is tagged on to the end for good measure.
The opinions expressed in this article are
not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed
views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may
not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a
Interested in reviewing music? Find out