TYRONE LEE; Invitation (Expansion)


Expansion Records take some time out from their regular soul compilation duties to focus on a single artist – Tyrone Lee. Tyrone is a London based soul man whose CV includes a stint in the West End stage smash ‘Thriller Live’ – a musical celebration featuring the hit songs of Michael Jackson – and work as song-writer and backing vocalist for people like West Life, Leona Lewis, Incognito and (gor blimey!) Peter Andre! Steeped in confidence and with warm endorsements from his previous paymasters, Tyrone’s been busy working on his own solo album and the savvy Expansion people have decided to license it… easy to hear why. The Tyrone Lee sound is bob on the soul sounds that Expansion champion – that’s to say quality, contemporary, “modern” soul that’s not afraid to show its allegiance to soul’s glorious past.

Hear Tyrone at his best on the finger-clickin’ ‘What Took You So Long’ – a smooth mid-tempo groove that’s easy on the ear but committed too – quality modern soul. ‘Woman In My World’ is busy little beater that should keep the modern room dancers happy. ‘Turn Up The Heat’ offer more heat for the feet – though this is a little grittier while if you’re more of a quiet storm person try the sweet ‘Listening To Your Heart’, ‘If Only I’ or ‘Fall 4 You’ – home gown’s soul’s rarely sounded sweeter. ‘Sky To The Ground’ however is the cut that keeps asking for the replay button… a cool yet insistent mid-tempo groove that shows Tyrone’s warm vocal tones off magnificently.

It’s clear that Mr Lee’s learned loads from his time working the Jacko catalogue onstage; equally his time in the studio and onstage with some big names has paid dividends and his backers have faith in what they know he can do – lavishing big bucks on the album’s production with recording and mastering taking pace all over the place –London, Tokyo, Atlanta and, er, Leeds. Yes, soul’s a global language and Tyrone Lee’s set to be one of 2014’s master articulators.

(BB) 4/5