My first Luxury Soul collection dates back to 2004. Thanks to Ralph Tee for coming up yet again with the definitive indie soul collection for 2023, compiling 35 tracks on three CDs. What a vast amount of quality tracks on here. I’ve always admired the Isley Brothers tune “Here We Go Again”, one of my favorite tracks from the icons which now gets a proper cover version by Output/Input featuring the wonderful Audrey Wheeler and Brent Carter. Great way to start things off! Former early house and acid producer Julian Jonah is next with a thick and wickedly phat “Now Is The Time For Us” which does not feature Tamia as stated on the cover, but rather Tamika Tyan.
We also get a glimpse of the latest album by Khari Cabral Simmons & Jiva. One of the stronger tracks on their latest album “5” is “I Believe”. I also really dig the Metlife Remix of “Say Yes” from the album “Absoulutely” by Cornell CC Carter. Legendary singer Shirley Jones is featured with her latest “Soul Steppin'”, which is included here with the Soul Syndicate Remix. She still sounds amazing. Oozing soul and class. As does Rockie Robbins whose “Let Me Be The One” from his 2019 Expansion album “Good Life” is on here as well. As always, new artists can be explored too, like Georgia-based husband and wife duo Tony Tatum and Shira Yarona Israel, known as the Royalty Duo, adding a sweet and sexy spin here with “This Is Of The Most High”.
I really like the clear and shiny voice of John Reid on the stomping groover “Light Up My World”, co-written by Ernie McKone. An irresistible boogie stomp. A brilliant midtempo jam is “Touch And Go” by Victor Haynes. The afore-mentioned Ernie McKone is at it again with his Family McKone and Laura Jackson on a very Loose Ends-ish, mid 80s “Alone Again”. Works pretty well. The wonderful Alton McClain Scarborough covers the Maze classic “While I’m Alone” here to a pretty pleasant outcome. The epitome of brilliant indie soul is “This Is Worth It” by Blue Soul Ten, culled from their obscure album of the same name. There is a wonderful, soothing and smooth “Dot Dot Dot (The Sequel)” by singer and saxophonist Marqueal Jordan, a great song which strolls along nice and slow. Great to hear Sheree Brown again with a track from her most recent album “Messages From The Spirit“, “Take A Walk With Love”, one of the best cuts on her disc.
There is a brand-new track by the ever so reliable Kloud 9: “When We’re Together” continues their streak of quiet storm-induced, midtempo soul stirrers. Ashley Scott is back (he was on “Luxury Soul 2017” with “Words”) with another impressive soul output: “Don’t Throw Our Love Away”. Luther-style Marc Staggers is featured with a great disco-fied dance mix of “You Make Me Feel”. Keyboardist, songwriter and producer Matt Johnson (Jamiroquai) is added with his adorable house track “Place In My Heart” and we’re also transported back to 1991 with “Love Can Make You Feel So Happy” by Damian LeGassick and Phil Da Costa, also known as Ipso Facto. Fond memories. We can’t mention all of the 35 tracks on offer. But this is probably the best compilation of indie soul out there. Again.