Steve Cropper and Felix Cavaliere need no introduction to soul fans. Suffice to say that since the hey day of the MGs and The Young Rascals both have kept busy on numerous musical projects – even playing together for fun in a Nashville-based band. Enter fellow Nashville resident and songwriter/producer Jon Tiven. Tiven persuaded the duo to lay down some tracks in his Hormone Studios and the end result is this brand new 12 tracker – issued on the revitalised Stax label via Concord. Sadly though, the LP doesn’t quite ignite in the way you’d expect from something featuring such august players and such a famous imprint. Chief reason for this is that most of the songs are lacklustre and their rendering is well – just ordinary …the kind of things that the southern soul studios churned out by the boat load in the late sixties and seventies. Where there’s an attempt to innovate, it doesn’t come off… as on ‘Make Time Go Faster’ – a dire attempt at rap! Along with that there are three instrumentals which suggest that the team ran out of ideas fairly quickly. That said, there are two absolute gems on the set. The first is ‘Without You’. This begins in a sultry, almost bluesy groove, before a jaunty chorus kicks in. Cavaliere’s in fine vocal form and Cropper repeats a simple riff to flesh things out. Even better is ‘Impossible’ – a tight, soulful mid-tempo groove with cooing backing vocals that burst into harmonic life on the hook laden, melodic chorus. It’s a real delight that will have Stax collectors dusting down their Mad Lads’ albums. What a pity the rest of the album couldn’t match this, then we would have had a collection worthy to grace the venerable, old Stax label.