JAY W McGEE; Good Feeling (Lounge/Legere)


Veteran soul man Jay W McGee is currently enjoying a new lease of life thanks to European indie label Lounge/Legere. They’ve got right behind the Michigan-born singer’s first long player in 25 years and even prior to official release (in May), the ten tracker is already making waves. It’s easy to hear why. ‘Good Feeling’ is stuffed with an optimistic music that makes few demands of the listener. As the album’s title suggests, it’s all about “feeling good”. It’s not lightweight or trivial though, mainly because of Jay’s old school soul voice. Gospel-reared, our man has a world weary, gritty, experienced voice that brings an air of rustic, organic authenticity to proceedings. Hear it at its very best on the LP’s standout track, ‘Make Time For Love’. This one’s a luscious, sweet mid-tempo floater… it’s sweetness augmented by some lovely harmonies. Listen up and you’ll realise that Mr McGee understands what soul is all about.

The rest of the album is aimed at the feet, offering a set of tunes that bring varied beats and dance-floor flavours. The album’s title cut is a driving beater (watch out for a Cool Million remix on this one); ditto ‘Whole Lotta Talk’ and ‘Look Here In My Heart’. ‘Which One Are You’ and ‘Get Up On This Groove’ take the Chic sound as their reference points while ‘Do It Right’ is properly rustic. ‘Danger’ disappoints a little. Jay doesn’t need gimmicks and eerie effects. ‘Beauty Of Loving You’ is much better and one the album’s most intriguing cuts. Here McGee assumes a frail falsetto which takes the track towards the Philly group sound. It’s a catchy outing and along with that ‘Make Time For Love’ makes investigation essential.

(BB) 4/5