VARIOUS: Soul Lounge 5 (Label: Dome)

VARIOUS: Soul Lounge 5

This, obviously, is Dome’s fifth Soul Lounge collection and, again no surprises, it follows the successful pattern of the four previous collections. That’s to say, it’s a triple CD box set stuffed with an excellent selection of modern soul tunes taken from the Dome archive and other ultra-reliable soul sources. There’s a very generous 40 tracks here and, again like previous Soul Lounges, there’s a smattering of brand new cuts too. The best are ‘It’s About Time’ from Reuben’s Thread and Full Flava’s ‘After The Dance Is Through’. The former is a haunting ballad with convincing vocal from Rachael Bell, while the second is exactly what we’ve come to expect from the Full Flava crew. The cut has all the classic ingredients that make modern soul so irresistible and lovely Beverlei Brown’s vocal nails it. Of the known-stuff, there’s plenty to remind us of how well modern soul people have been served by the Dome label. To make the point the compilers go back to the 90s for tracks on Richard Darbyshire (‘True Survivor’) and Beverly Knight (‘In Time’) while picking plenty from their current crop, including Don E’s remarkable version of ‘Waiting In Vain’ and couple of corkers from the Angela Johnson collaboration set. Other Dome goodies come from people like Anthony David, Rahsaan Patterson and Incognito. From Expansion, Dome have licensed stuff like Niteflyte’s Jean Carne-vocalised perennial ‘If You Believe’ and the Steve Harvey-helmed ‘Troubled Times’ with a vocal from Linn Segolson. From elsewhere there’s Joy Denalane’s ‘Be Real’ and Seven’s ‘Hope We Will’. As with previous Soul Lounge collections the last CD in the box offers some stuff that’s a little more adventurous including the Bah Samba remix of the Fatback’s ‘Feel The Fire’, Maysa’s pacey take on ‘The Bottle’, the Tony Remy/Bluey jazz collaboration that is ‘Dans la Mancha’ and the hugely atmospheric ‘A Kind Of Latin Rhythm’ from the Ju Ju Orchestra. The Latin beats of that one will help you forget all about these credit-crunching times, but when reality bites back and you want value for your hard-earned money, yet still demand real quality and a challenging variety in your modern soul, look no further than the Soul Lounge.
(BB) 4/5