KLOUD 9: Enjoy The Ride (Label: Expansion)

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KLOUD 9: Enjoy The Ride

Kendal and Kelvis Duffie – collectively Kloud 9 – are big favourites with the UK soul crowd. Their smooth yet beguiling take on modern soul has captivated British audiences for some time now. Expertly handled and promoted by Ralph Tee’s Expansion set up, the brothers regular incursions over here have ensured that they remain firm favourites and this new 13 tracker will keep their legions of fans more than happy. The album has all the key ingredients that make the Kloud 9 sound so attractive. Clean and crisp, with songs crafted in the old-fashioned way (that’s to say with decent lyrics and catchy melodies) the music immediately strikes a chord and of the 13 songs on offer the most immediate is ‘Step’. Clearly it’s a steppers tune and though it does include the “stepping instruction” code, Kendall’s lyrics do get away from simple, dance floor banalities. Essentially the sentiments suggest that we might be able to dance away the troubles which the news inevitably brings. OK, a bit simplistic, but not a bad idea (over to you Mr. Obama!). ‘Can’t Hold This Love’ is a different kind of tune. It has tremendously steady, mid-tempo groove that will please sophisticated dancers, but the bonus is a great vocal from Tamara Jones. The lady’s searing lead offers real variety as does the excellent sax work from Donald Hayes on ‘All That Matters’. That cut is one of the album’s best and part of its attraction is the duelling between Hayes’ mellifluous sax and the brothers’ vocals. For the rest, well, it’s typically Kloud 9… nothing big, brash and in your face, just gently insinuating soul. Even the dance remix of ‘Love’s Just Better With You’ doesn’t invade with aggression; it just gets under your skin and into your feet!
(BB) 4/5