KINDRED THE FAMILY SOUL: Love Has No Recession (Shanachie)

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Aja Graydon and Fatin Dantzler are Kindred The Family Soul. The Philly-based husband and wife team debuted in 2003 with ‘Surrender To Love’ and immediately struck a chord with soul connoisseurs world-wide. ‘Love Has No Recession’ is their fourth full album and it’s set to enhance their status as modern soul brand leaders. The reason why is clear. Their music is rooted in the classic Philadelphia tradition; like Gamble and Huff and countless other Philly musicians, the pair understand the art of creating quality songs, produced with love, care and dedication to a craft. Moreover, their songs convey strong messages and meanings, transcending the trite and the banal. Here, on the wonderfully-titled ‘Love Has No Recession’, they sing not just of intimate, personal love and relationships, but also of the general human struggle, of hardships, of redemption, of perseverance, of social consciousness and the importance of family values. The overall message is simple – despite the recession love can conquer all. That message is delivered in one of the key cuts, ‘Above Water’ – “Saving Wall Street means nothing if we don’t pay attention to what’s relevant – us… We all need more investment in spiritual kisses.” In words that dear old Curtis Mayfield would have been proud, the moral is clear.

To help them deliver, Kindred have brought in a great supporting cast. Ursula Rucker and CoCo Brown, guest on the aforementioned ‘Above Water’ while Raheem Devaughn takes lead on the quite lovely ‘We All Will Know’. Snoop Dogg adds his rhymes to a wonderful love song – ‘You Got Love’ (catch the sample from Breakwater’s ‘You Know I Love You’) and elsewhere you can enjoy the talents of Bilal, Lady Alma Horton (she guests on joyous, upbeat, old school, ‘Authentically You’) , Chuck Brown and Rick Medina.

Harmonica man, Fred Yonnet adds subtle colour to the album’s title cut which, rightly, sums up the essence of the album and if you’re ever looking for a great love ballad look no further than ‘Magic Happen’ – as sweet and sensual a song to ever come from the City Of Brotherly Love. Old stagers Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff would be proud of it; then again they’d be proud of the whole album.

(BB) 4/5