VARIOUS: City Teacher OST (Label: Expansion)

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VARIOUS: City Teacher OST

‘City Teacher’ is an American movie that’s yet to hit our screens and this new Expansion album is the film’s soundtrack. In many ways it’s a strange kind of affair and not the kind of thing you’d normally associate with the Expansion sound as typified by stuff like the Togetherness albums. What possibly attracted the Expansion team to the album are tracks from real soul stalwarts – Lenny Williams and Freda Payne. They open proceedings with ‘Inner City Rainbow’ and ‘Welcome To The Human Race’ respectively, but though both sing as well as you’d except, the songs aren’t that great, though Freda’s song does have a half-decent hook. Elsewhere there’s some rap (Damian Deluxe’s ‘Piece Of Mind’), jazzy soundtrack fodder (‘Love Dog, Content Prisoner’), putative inspirational ballads (Susan Therese’s ‘Leap Of Faith’) and a selection of nondescript filler. Best cuts? Well, I believe Johnny Britt’s dreamy ‘In The Meantime’ is play-listed on Solar – but that says more about sponsorship than song quality, while the Heatwave-sampled ‘The Deeper You Go’ is catchy in a quirky sort of way. Ces Tu’s ‘Street Light’ – with its Boz Scaggs’ style bass line – rides a good groove, bettered by ‘Ghetto Legacy’ which comes on like a David Sanborn throwback. However, the almost innocuous ‘Better Than Yesterday’ from Elaine Gibbs is the most rounded cut. Good song and mature vocal make it the album’s soul standout.
(BB) 3/5