THE TEAM: Keeping The Faith (Label:

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THE TEAM: Keeping The Faith

UK soul band, the Team were formed back in 1982 as the backing group for the legendary Edwin Starr who had by then made his home in the UK. Since Edwin’s sad death in 2003, the group have been fronted by Edwin’s brother – Angelo, but, despite the change, the Team still pack ’em in as they continue to tour the country. The massively enthusiastic response to their live shows encouraged the band to enter the studio – when their busy schedule permitted – and the result is this energy-charged 11 tracker. Naturally the music represents the feel of their live shows and a lot of it is geared towards the Northern fraternity – though there are some surprises. The most overt “Northern” tracks are the fast and frantic ‘Freewheelin’, the obvious ‘Bless My Northern Soul’ and the catchy mid-tempo groove that is ‘You Gotta Try’. The surprises? Well, ‘Best Of Everything’ is a lovely harmonic floater that sounds like prime time Tower Of Power in their more mellow moments… beach music at its best. Then there’s a floating ballad called ‘Only You. It’s clearly built from the same blocks as Heatwave’s ‘Mind Blowing Decision’ but none the worse for that. The band know it’s a goodie ‘cos they reprise it at the end. Elsewhere the ballad ‘Can I Cry For You’ is a bit too dramatic for my liking, while the rocky guitar on ‘That’s The Way It Goes’ sounds totally out of place. But don’t let that put you off. ‘Only You’ and ‘Best Of Everything’ are two exceptional cuts with the latter having the potential to be massive.
(BB) 3/5