Back in my post about the best albums I heard in 2016, I mentioned an album by The British Collective that I had just heard about right at the end of the year. I didn’t have time to listen to it then; but I have listened to it since then. Let me tell you that I absolutely love it. I’m going to feature a few songs from this album today under the New Music post; because even though the album was released back in September, it is new music to me.
The British Collective was formed out of a song from R&B singer Don-E’s album track “Spiritual,” which I featured in this post. That track contained a “who’s who” of British R&B male singing royalty: guys like Omar (Lye-Fook), Noel McKoy, Carl McIntosh from Loose Ends, Leee John from Imagination, Junior (Giscombe), Paul Johnson and Rick Clarke. That song was well-received, and the participants agreed to get together and decided to make more music. The resulting album, Vol. 1: The Renaissance Begins, is a throwback that isn’t really a throwback. It’s music from guys who had hits a generation ago, but it has a fresh, contemporary sound.
Though “Spiritual” was made in 2013, it took three years for this project to be released. I’ll tell you it was worth the wait. I was going to only feature the first track from the album, “Piece Of Heaven,” but I have come up with a few more that stood out for me. The first single from the project, “Romantic” is also up there as a favorite, as is the smooth ballad “Love Me Tonight,” and the album closer “Doctor Love” (not a cover of the disco classic by First Choice). Since I couldn’t pick between those four, they all go in this post.
First up is “Piece Of Heaven,” which picks up where “Spiritual” left off. It’s a wonderful uptempo groove and immediately shows that the guys are in fine vocal form.
Next up, “Romantic” which makes a great introduction to the guys. A head-nodder with a great chorus.
Next up, the beat ballad “Love Me Tonight”:
Finally, “Doctor Love” with it’s awesome blend of voices and those great harmony background vocals:
There’s a term among those of us in the Gen X generation that this type of music is for the “grown and sexy,” meaning that it’s for adults who remember what that classic R&B that we grew up with sounds like. This album is definitely in my sweet spot. I’ve been playing it frequently, with those four songs the focus, but all of it sounds great. Makes me wish some singers on this side of the Atlantic could come with something this good. It also makes me hope that this doesn’t end with Volume 1.
For those who might be interested, here’s a documentary with the featured princpals where they discuss how they came together and their plans for the music.
Hope you enjoy today’s new music, and thanks for reading and listening.