ANTHONEY WRIGHT: Feet On The Ground (Label: Palawan)

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A couple of years ago some general music commentators “discovered” a whole new genre – “UK Retro Soul”… you know, the stuff peddled by people like Amy Winehouse, Duffy and Adele. Well, real soul people know that their kind of music might owe something to the great soul stylists, but as far being truly soulful, they’ve still a long way to go – valiant though their efforts are. Young Anthoney Wright represents the male side of this “new” phenomenon and last year he made considerable waves with the catchy single ‘Reset To Zero’ and that song forms the focal point of this, his debut album. The 11 tracker offers essentially the same sound as the single. That’s to say it big, beaty, brash and bouncy but with little light and shade. The ballad that is ‘I’m A Fool For You Now’ tries to offer something a little different but it’s right in your face while the eeriness of ‘On My Own’ doesn’t quite work. The follow up single ‘No Me Without You’ is essentially ‘Reset To Zero’ part 2 and if that doesn’t work then ‘Looking Through The Windows’ (not the Jackson 5 song, by the way) should do the trick. Apart from ‘Zero’, it’s the LP’s catchiest song. Starting with a drum roll that might have been pinched from the Four Tops’ ‘Baby I Need Your Loving’, there’s busy brass, tight beats and a pleasing tune which suits Mr. Wright’s unique delivery. Indeed the man’s voice is the album’s main attraction throughout. Hard to pin down, it hugely distinctive but to make comparison with Marvin Gaye and Al Green (as the PR hype does!) is a tad premature. As a debut ‘Feet On The Ground’ is more than satisfactory, but I’d like to hear more before labelling Anthoney Wright a major contender.
(BB) 3/5