The 21st annual Soul Togetherness compilation, put together again by Richard Searling and Ralph Tee, is among us. The doube vinyl version is expected to become available as early as next week. And once again, the 15 tracks represent a great overview of the past indie soul year.
Starting off with one of the best tracks Tower Of Power (yes they still exist) have recorded (“Addicted To You”), vocalist Ray Greene simply nails this wonderful midtempo soul groover. It seems that the best tracks on offer make up about the first half of the album, with Carmichael Musiclover coming up next with “Pure Sweetness”, an above average soul piece of the highest quality. And DW3, an LA-based trio, is featured with “Never Gonna Stop” from their latest album, a sweet piece combining smooth and contemporary jazz with finest soul.
I never quiet warmed up to Charlie Wilson‘s “Forever Valentine” which is also part of the set. It seems that his voice sounds more and more squashed with each new release. The one and only Will Downing is also present with “Right Where You Are”, one of three new singles he put out this year in addition to his EP “Romantique, Pt. 2” with cover versions of soul classics. Speaking of which, there is a wonderful re-interpretation of Melba Moore’s classic “Standing Right Here” by Paprika Soul featuring Jacqui Hicks on vocals.
We also get unheard of artists as well again, like a Leon Haywood-produced 1981 gem with “It’s Your Night” by Johnny Baker, a track which was somehow hidden for the past decades and now has seen the light of day. Elsewhere, we get a pretty mediocre Weather Girls ditty (“Stand Up”), the always reliable Cool Million (“Keep On”) with vocalist Matthew Winchester, a very Chic-sounding German Privatproject featuring vocalist Stephanie S. (“Don’t Walk That Way”), and serious soul/dance pieces by Super DB and JB Rose. Once again, a highly recommended set.