Soul Basement’s alum is vocally smooth and has some interesting rhythms – but it feels as though the majority of the songs are virtually the same.
If you are looking for an album that makes for perfect listening on a lazy summer’s day then this is it. Soul Basement’s album is a laid back and chilled out record that blends soul and jazz perfectly – but somehow it feels disconnected emotionally, not stirring up the emotions in the way it could do.
The main issue with the album is that everything does sound too neutral – it needs a bit more of a punch about it to really get it going. Of course, this isn’t to say that there isn’t anything to enjoy or appreciate on the album.
With tracks such as ‘Better Days’ and ‘S.O.U.L’, Soul Basement combines some beautiful rhythms and thoughtful lyrics to create a wonderfully delicate sound that is subtle and gentle pleasure to listen to. But sometimes this subtleness can make certain songs sound exactly like each other – particularly when listening to ‘Better Days’ and ‘Love to the People’ which seem to have strong similarities in its rhythm.
But there is still a sense that the album has been carefully thought out and manages to place a contemporary spin on both jazz and soul music with plenty of style and sophistication as can be heard on ‘To Be Truly Free’ and ‘Count on Me’ for example.
Meanwhile, ‘Slowly’ is a soft, tender and romantic sounding song that adds an emotional core to the album which can be slightly lacking at times. Nothing about the album is rushed, it is gentle and easy to listen to from beginning to end and it is in this sense makes the album a pleasure to listen to.
Overall, while Oneness is a solid album, it could use a bit more variety in tempo to showcase Soul Basement’s talent in different ways. It could be so much bolder in intent – without losing that lightness of touch that Soul Basement uses throughout.
By Emma Clarendon
Oneness is available to buy through Amazon now.