Reviewed by Mike Rimmer
Incredible instrumentalist Ben Tankard gives us this brilliant R&B/jazz album featuring his team of sensational singers. A mixture of soulful vibes reminiscent, occasionally, of a mellow Sounds Of Blackness. Musically, many influences are melded together from African chants, jazz, pop, funk, gospel and hip hop, and like some soulful soup, Ben heats them up until the album is sizzling. Right from the start this means business when you hear the title tune delivered by 12 year old Ebony Miller! Boy, can she sing! There's plenty of funkiness here with "N-Do Spirit" taking off, and the mellower "Livin' 4 U" laying down some tasty grooves. Lyrically, it's all pointed towards God and a refreshing experience. "We Ben Jamin" has a party atmosphere as Ben's Tribe of singers let out all the stops before the maestro indulges in some great jazz playing! Some of the quieter songs have a huge impact spiritually. I felt, both, convicted and encouraged by "Spend Some Time With Me" and the wonderfully titled "7 Dayze Without Prayer (Makes One W-E-A-K)" which are focused on the need for deeper intimacy with God. There's even a cover of the old Housemartins' hit "Caravan Of Love" (originally soulfully performed by Isley/Jasper/Isley). At turns sensitive, yet often musically explosive, this is a top class album- packed full with joi de vivre. Tankard's albums just keep on getting better!
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