Soul music has given the world some of the very best signers the world has ever seen: Marvin Gaye, Al Green, and Stevie Wonder all spring to mind. Today soul music is a different beast, indented to sell on a mass scale especially the all American brand churned out by Neyo and others of that ilk. They are all very successful and probably will not feel the effects of credit crunch.
However, over here on this little island we have in the North Atlantic; soul music has never had the same pull especially when it’s made by someone from Southampton- yes I am talking to you Mr. David. Yet it hasn’t stopped us trying and next to take up this most noble task is a Mr. Richard Emberstone from that cultural epicentre known as London.
If Emberstone’s music was a cooking ingredient, it would be the sweetest sugar ever produced, and would make even the worst baker appear like some cooking demy God. His voice could quite possibly seduce even the most ardent man hater. This lady would then run off with him and have a jolly good time.
Track wise, the five songs on offer owe a debt to the aforementioned Mr. Neyo, Brown and David. Yet this is not a bad thing though- reworking a proven formula is what science does all the time and they are not accused of plagiarism. Each song is nicely crafted and shows off Emberstone’s vocal ability well. Opening track When It Suited You is your archetypical soul love song complete with a few cheesy lines. If You Were A Secret continues in the same manner. You get the feeling at times that he’s trying to write the ultimate seduction album which is a noble cause yet flawed because Marvin’s won that one. This is not to dismiss Emberstone- he can write and song a good song and it will seduce someone somewhere although where I am not sure. The title track is yet more slushy love but with a slightly funkier twist. Penultimate track Move On slows down the action with a crying violin and slow piano riff. Although it is more of the same lovely stuff. Final track has a jazz feel to it and the breakdown towards the end of the record is a nice touch.
Emberstone may not be everyone’s cup of sugar filled tea, what he is though is a solid soul signer who maybe should be given a chance.
Review by George McSorley