Monday, 16 May 2016

GREGORY PORTER – ALBUM REVIEW

Gregory Porter – Take Me To The Alley (Motema Music) 
Gregory Porter - Take Me To The Alley


Release Date: Out Now

Gregory Porter is a man known as much for his chocolatey smooth voice as he is for his understatedly eccentric headwear but this latest album may make people forget about the millinery all together. ‘Take Me To The Alley’ is an utterly beautiful blend of Jazz, Soul and Pop that has moments for all times of day and all accompanying moods.

In no particular order, tunes like ‘Consequences of Love’ and ‘Day Dream’ are songs to pour out a glass of wine to after a long day at work that you need to unwind from with Porter’s voice to sooth you like a shoulder rub from a loved one (not a complete stranger, that would be less than relaxing). The scit-scat beat of ‘Fan The Flames’ is pure Jazz wondrousness while ‘French African Queen’ is possibly my favourite piece of double-bass led story telling so far this millennium. On ‘In Heaven’ the sumptuous piano lays a bed for Porter to glide gracefully over as he runs you a bath and turns the lights down low – not to seduce but to relax and spoil. Meanwhile ‘Insanity’ continues the smooth vibes with delicate piano and lazy beats.

Now, Porter has a more commercial side as well as the organ infused ‘Don’t Be A Fool’ (the perfect New York breakfast tune) and superbly funky ‘Don’t Lose Your Stream’ (a tune to strut out in the morning to) gloriously attest. During ‘In Fashion’ there is a persistent and insistent piano stab that gets your day underway and keeps you going through all the trials and tribulations before you can relax with another sliver of smoothness on the spars ‘Holding On’. ‘More Than A Woman’ is another gently soothing delight while title track ‘Take Me To The Alley’ shows off some wonderfully creative arrangements. Gregory Porter is a supreme talent and, what’s more exciting, he seems to genuinely revel in making music whilst being an utterly charming guy as well. No mean feat.


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