Tuesday, February 06, 2007

The Brand New Heavies "Get Used To It"

The Brand New Heavies
Get Used To It
Label: Delicious Vinyl
7.5 out of 10
By Norman Mayers

The Brand New Heavies emerged in the early 90s as a part of the acid jazz movement that was a pre-cursor to the late 90s neo-soul sound. The Heavies had an infectious sound that was equal parts soul, jazz, and funk that was centered by the irrepressible presence of lead vocalist N’Dea Davenport. This sassy diva was all perfect pipes and funky attitude; the perfect complement to the funky jazzy hip-hop grooves of the band. But as all great singers do, Davenport embarked on a solo career. Now many years later, N’Dea has returned to the band that launched her career, and the music world can rejoice. Get Used To It is the Brand New Heavies exactly as you remember them: fun, funky, nostalgic, and modern all at once. And with Davenport back in front everything seems right in the world.

The Brand New Heavies are masters at throwing down a funky groove and Get Used To It is full of them. The album shines when the tracks are laced with the sounds of classic funk and disco as on the joyful “Let’s Do It Again” and the slinky “Sex God” both of which can stand alongside some of the group’s most memorable cuts. The beauty of the band is the symmetry between the music and vocals. The instrumentation is pure perfection, with every hi-hat, bass kick, and guitar riff in complete sync. N’Dea’s vocals are as strong as they were in 1992 soaring on the uptempo groove “Right On” like a fierce lioness or with heartache on the album centerpiece “I Don’t Know Why (I Love You)”. Like previous albums, the Heavies switch up their grooves proving skillful in everything from vintage soul to reggae to James Brown style funk. After such a long separation it is almost unbelievable that the magic is still here. While a few cuts may not live up to the highs of some of the standouts, the album remains consistent in quality and tone. Longtime fans of the Brand New Heavies will be pleasantly satisfied. For those who have no idea who they are, be prepared for some truly accessible modern funk and soul.

The Brand New Heavies on Myspace

The Brand New Heavies Official Site

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