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Silhouette Brown Change It Up On ‘two’

25/02/2010

There was quite a stir in the blogosphere when it was announced that Silhouette Brown would be releasing the follow up to their critically acclaimed, self-titled 2005 debut. The trio, comprised of Kaidi Tatham (Bugz In The Attic), Dego (4hero) and Bembe Segue, are all successful artists in their own right, however their debut consolidated their place in UK soul/broken beat history. This time around the core of the group remains the same, however vocalist Deborah Jordan has been replaced with Philly soul sista Lady Alma, who again is well known for her solo work and collaborations with King Britt and Mark de Clive-Lowe.

What is most noticable on two, when compared with their debut, is the groups change in musical direction. Whereas their debut was a mix of broken beats and down tempo jazz, perfect for those ‘chill-out’ moments, two is a more straight forward ‘soul’ album aimed at the grown folks. The inclusion of Lady Alma was definitely a wise choice here, on standout tracks such as ‘Bitter Pills and Butterflies’ and ‘Fools Gold’ her powerful yet subtle vocals shine, and on the deeper tracks such as ‘Leave A Note’ (which deals with suicide) her connection with the lyrics, and the emotion she conveys are amazing, even more impressive when you consider that she wrote none of the tracks on the album herslef (a feat which the core trio must be applauded for). Explaining the differences between this album and the previous one in a recent interview, Lady Alma points out that this time around the group went for a more “Americanized” sound, a more soulful, R&B orientated feel compared to the starker, break-beat sound on Silhouette Brown. Whether this was a direct result of having Lady Alma on board, or whether the choice of Lady Alma resulted from this change in sound, is anyones guess, but personally i’m glad they took those steps.

The subject matter on two is a varied lot, over the course of 10 tracks the album touches on break ups (‘Casulaties Of Honey’), suicide (the aforementioned ‘Leave A Note’), faith (‘Hear Them Often Say’) and working together (‘Get With It’), all tied together by a warm, souful-head-nod groove that sets two up to be one of those albums perfect for any occasion, and one which benefits from repeated listens. I’m sure two will make many a ‘best of’ list when the year end comes round once again, I for one cannot forsee it’s absence here.

Fools Gold [snippet]

Hear Them Often Say [snippet]

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