If it’s on Stones Throw chances are it’s worth a go – unless we’re talking Mayer Hawthorne. Am I right? Am I right?
Anyway, Myron Glasper and Eric Cooke did a similar sixties Motown soul-pop throwback thing to Hawthorne – but, you know, good! Whilst they might not have the bite and grit and soul of James Hunter, their act is so slick thanks to strings and the sublime on-the-button backing of a bunch of Finnish soul aficionados called The Soul Investigators.
These guys have a sound that’s locked down, a little bit Marvin Gaye, a little bit like The Spinners, The Four Topps, but these are no nearly-museum act discovered eventually like Charles Bradley or Sharon Jones. In fact they’re more a wax-museum ripoff, you could say, a bit plastic-soul. But this is a loving pastiche, proudly so.
Broadway is the pair’s debut long-player, though they’ve been knocking around doing the do since 2008.
I get the feeling I’ll tire of their sound before too long – but there’s something infectious about their new ideas based on old remedies; there’s something so perfect (but not life-squeezed-out) in the way this sympathetic, exquisite backing band locks down and glides; supports. And there’s something very self-aware about the aims of this record. See the cover advertising gladly that this is for Dee-Jays! It’s both proud and playful, that announcement. A bit like the music.
You could do a lot worse. And so could they. Maybe they will next time around, or maybe they’ll step up and out of so-obvious tribute-land. But Broadway is classy, and easy-on-the-ear and it seeps in over several listens. Give it a chance. At times it’s really quite extraordinary in its tenderness, in the love that’s been put into it. At other times it’s pleasant-background music. Yep, that’s faint praise I guess but it’s also the truth. This is no knock-it-out-of-the-park experience. But it’s nice. Real nice. And sometimes that’s all you need; sometimes that’s enough.