When it comes to the world of Northern Soul, there is no finer band than Smoove and Turrell. Over the years they have developed a reputation of bringing fun times with their music with iconic hits such as “Beggarman” and “Hard Work” being constant crowd pleasers during their live sets. Their other side brings a slower tempo to offer some soulful moments which “Gabriel” and “Glass” highlights.
The guys return with their new album Mount Pleasant, an optimistic look at a pessimistic time. It is a nostalgic look at a time and area in which Smoove and John Turrell grew up. They say “everyone seems to know a different Mount Pleasant — with a universal theme being that some live up to their names and some do not.” This collection of songs was put together with the help of Mike Porter (keyboard), Lloyd Wright (guitar), Andy Champion (bass) and, Oscar Cassidy (drums).
The album opens up with “There for Me” which has a cool groove to welcome you to the party. It may not stand out as much as some of the other songs on offer, but it highlights how good these guys sound together.
The rest of the album brings an impressive blend of soul, funk and a bit of jazz. Credit should go to Smoove and rest of the band on how they deliver this range of sounds. They excel when they up the tempo by injecting a party like energy which “I Feel Alive” and the flawless “Mr Hyde” shows.
There ain’t no party like a Smoove and Turrell party
Not to be upstaged, Turrell can steal the spotlight with his vocals. No matter the style he is required to perform, he does so with confidence. A high tempo track brings out his showman side which he uses to get the listener to sing along to their infectious hooks. It is his soulful tone that shines the most, which feels so honest. “A Deckham Love Song” highlights this talent.
No track disappoints, but there are so many to grab the listeners attention. If you are looking for a starting point for this album, “You’re Gone” is a perfect choice. Featuring the vocals from Izo FitzRoy, it offers everything that is good about Smoove and Turrell in one song.
With each release, they continue to fine-tuning their craft. The result, more outstanding tracks. How do they do it? Who cares as they keep delivering great music which Mount Pleasant proves.