MOMENTUM

imageClass. If I were to sum up in one word Soulpersona’s ‘Momentum’ it would be that word. Sheer and utter class.

Thankfully, I’m left with the freedom to elaborate a little more freely here.

So what defines the singular priceless timepiece that is ‘Momentum’ for me. To begin with, there was the anticipation. I’d long known of its inception, of the work being put into it. I was familiar with earlier creations by its writer and producer, as well as that of cohorts thus so assigned to help him on his mission. So I kind of knew what to expect. Kind of. Because this was hardly going to be a paint-by-numbers job, it was still assured to be a revelation. Excited as I was for its arrival, ordered months before its completion, the thrill of eventually holding it in my hands was palpable. Peeling back the cellophane made me feel like Charlie from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory; I didn’t know exactly what treasures were awaiting me, but I knew a cd from this Willy Wonka of sophisticated soulful music carried with it an assurance of excellence. I pressed play, and slipped into auditory heaven, only regretting that I could not afford the vinyl and an almighty sound system second to none.

What is this album to me? It conjures up magical imagery of yore. It’s John Steed and Emma Peel racing through the countryside in an open-topped car. It’s Buck Rogers seducing Princess Ardala with his foxy moves. It’s Flash Gordon taking the Emperor Ming to task. In short, it’s superhero stuff, but when superheroes relied on their wit and their charm rather than some special powers or armoured suits. Or else it’s you, me and my good friends chilling by the pool at my villa in Tuscany, or perhaps bobbing about the Azures on my 18-berth yacht, playing poker in the drawing room after dinner – dressed to the nines, because it smells ‘rich’, and a true class rich at that.

I’m hoping you get the picture. Now to the actual musical content of ‘Momentum’. What to expect?

First off, let me say Pete Simpson blew me away with ‘Don’t You Think’, a truly sublime vocal that you just want to soak in again and again, seduction with love guaranteed. His later step in with ‘Your Love Is Mine’ is another modern classic in the making. I love how the triumphant uplift slips into sultry sax a little way over the half way mark. For me, both combining to be perhaps the best work Pete Simpson has delivered to us to date.

Now if you’re familiar with my pages here you’ll know I’m a huge devotee of the Olympian Deity that is Princess Freesia. Aside from her interstellar vocals she has to be one of the craziest most accomplished lyricists around, a defining edge that to me sets her head and shoulders above the rest. How she consistently comes up with such splendour is beyond me, but if she told me she had a direct through-line to that blue tentacled alien opera singer from ‘The Fifth Element’ I’d not be surprised, she’s of another world alright. She’s also her own best backing singer, with delicious harmonies. Anyway, step into ‘Open Sesame’ to discover her magic, and allow this Majestic Temptress of Tune & Melody captivate you under her spell (then delve into her other tracks there, and then on to her albums.)

Before I leave Princess Freesia, let me please mention too her ‘duet’ with the truly brilliant Carl Hudson’s keys on ‘Ride In Time’, because it’s bliss.

Guest artist the Madam Palindrome that is Deborah Bond comes in with ‘Let It Go’. Oh, we’ve all been there haven’t we? I sure have.

Have to mention ‘Unjustified’ sung by Darien, simply because it lept out, not in a jarring way, just it seemed to hold a different vibe, whilst still consistent with the whole. As I said at the beginning, there is nothing formulaic about ‘Momentum’.

Far from it. Indeed with each listen, it is as if you discover new depths. This is no eau de toilette, but a very expensive multi-layered eau de parfum, you know, like Tom Ford does in those smoked glass Art Deco Chess-piece bottles. The tracks I’ve listed above are by no means favourites above the rest, simply because there are no favourites; they are merely a sample of the sumptuous selection of tracks that awaits you. Buy ‘Momentum’, buy it.

‘Fateful Attraction’ EP

Returning with her first release for 2014 the divine chanteuse that is Princess Freesia now gives us her new EP ‘Fateful Attraction’, which is, once again, masterfully produced by her long-standing collaborator Soulpersona and presented by R&B Moguls. It is sure to inflame her ever-ascending star into further luminescence.

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As is eagerly hoped for and gladly fulfilled upon the first listen, Princess Freesia’s own musical influences shine through, as is her mark. A musical connoisseur enriched by the influences of Rare Groove, Soul, Jazz, Funk and Fusion et al, she describes her musical tastes as “anything with sexy Rhodes, warm analogue drum sounds, a wubby bass line, etheric synthaholics and kitten purring vocals…”.  As ever then, the music here holds an undeniable and graceful touch of the most delicious classic grooves, though just because Princess Freesia is clearly inspired from yester-year in her music this doesn’t make her some retro copycat. There may well be touches reminiscent of earlier decades, but her delectable voice alone claims these tunes as totally today.

This EP is a journey into that eternal experience of yearning love and desire, as the brief to “write something heartfelt about the longing, pining, heartache kind of love” so directed her to. She has channelled such emotions “as delivered by some of my favourite female vocalists from back in the day such as Teena Marie, Marlena Shaw, Phyllis Hyman, Angela Bofill, Angela Winbush etc…”   In short, she’s keeping the finest sounds very much alive, with a fresh Freesian touch.

As was so ecstatically established in previous EP releases ‘The Hoxxy Demos’ and ‘The Lapdancer’ and follow-up album ‘The Rainbow Ride’, her music sees her stand undeniably unique and incomparable. Those distinctive and delicious vocals aside, she also delivers consistently strong with her accomplished lyrics, which are richly coloured with the finest floridity that engages from the off and pulls one ever further in.

Once again Princess Freesia shows her sublime ability to present a collection of tracks that incite a desire to take a sultry walk upon the streets, groove upon the floor, or else to set the mercury rising between the sheets: ‘Do it Baby’ and the more imploring ‘I Won’t Forget’ here confirming the latter there most assuredly. ‘Missing Love’ is hauntingly beautiful, a true classic with the musical backing and the way it really allows for her vocals to soar on high reminiscent of the late, great Roberta Flack.

This is not simply a soundtrack to seduction or sorrow-tinged hearts however, with tracks such as ”I Am Still Young’ calling upon love as a sort of prophetic self-empowerment. As such, they are very fine words to finish here with: “I’ll take it higher, I will inspire, I will take it further than you ever wanted to believe it, I will solve the mysteries of what is wrong and what is needed. Never underestimate the power of a single person – Little things become the biggest power for the every person.”

 Giles Addison

‘Fateful Attraction’ is available on i tunes; click here for a taster.