Detroit’s Alicia Myers is one of soul’s great unsung heroines. Casual fans might know her from her work with Al Hudson and the Soul Partners who later morphed into One Way while the cognoscenti will love and respect her for solo hits like ‘I Want To Thank You’ and the still lovely ‘You Get The Best From Me (Say, Say, Say)’ – a tune still capable of filling floors in decent discos. Sadly in the late 1990s she was diagnosed with breast cancer but – as she acknowledges in her blog – with great care, a loving family and gritty determination she got through and went back to singing. In 2011 she hooked up with the UK’s Love Town Music and pushed out a great CD – ‘Peace Of Mind’…. which the revitalised label is wisely re-promoting.
Produced by Love Town’s Tim Jones, the 10 tracker is a great modern soul set. Jones and Myers (along with keyboardist Steve Hudson) have crafted a set of original songs that perfectly suit Ms Myers’ great old school soul voice and whether she’s belting out beaters or caressing a ballad it’s clear that the lady understands and has mastered the demands of the genre.
Best of the beaters is the insistent ‘United We Stand’. Like lots of great soul songs (think Smokey R or Holland -Dozier-Holland) it’s built round the catchy, catch phrase title. It’s a proper little ear-worm. Other good dancers include ‘Journey’, ‘Weekend’ and the crunchy ‘Higher’… infectious all – kind of Chaka Khan meets Drizabone in a strange kind of way. ‘Fallin’ Apart’ is another great groove – mid-tempo and smooth but with a gritty vocal that prevents it slipping into the bland.
The set boasts a number of catchy ballads too. Try ‘I Will Stand By You’ for starters though the bigger, more dramatic ‘Peace Of Mind’ is the stand out… no wonder that the team chose it as the LP’s title cut. It shows that despite the nay-sayers “proper” soul music is still being made… and made in some not so obvious places. Good on Love Town Music for re-promoting this set… find out more for yourself @ www.lovetownmusic.com