Who says there’s no co-operation in this big, old UK soul world. Here at www.soulandjazzanfunk.com we’re eternally grateful to TOBY WALKER of www.soulwalking.co.uk for pointing us to two of the year’s best true soul albums so far. First up, there’s KENNY LATIMORE’S ‘Timeless’ collection. The eleven tracker’s a set of covers – but covers with a difference. KENNY and his producers have gone for some unusual songs and stamped them with a new and unique sound. Try the versions of STEVIE’S ‘It Ain’t No Use’ or the BEATLES’ ‘And I Love Her’ to get the point. It’s a good album, but for real soul delights nothing this year is likely to match RAPHAEL SAADIQ’S ‘The Way I See It’. TONI, TONY, TONE were always the soul connoisseurs’ group of choice (few better albums than ‘House Of Music’?) and SAADIQ’S solo outings have always been eagerly awaited. This new set is an unashamed tribute to the uptown soul sounds of the sixties with more than a respectful nod to the Motown sound of SMOKEY and EDDIE KENDRICKS. The opener ‘Sure Hope You Mean It’ is superb, while the JOSS STONE collaboration ‘Just One Kiss’ is possibly the best record the TEMPTATIONS never made. If you want more, dear old STEVIE adds his magic to ‘Never Give You Up’. No wonder then that the LP is already being tipped as 2008’s ‘Soul Album Of The Year’. You can get full and in-depth reviews on www.soulwalking.co.uk.