Ever-reliable UK soul man, VICTOR HAYNES has a distinguished back catalogue – and this new album – the ten tracker that is ‘Dreams’  – will sit perfectly ‘midst his past achievements.

I guess if you’re reading this you’ll know all about Manchester’s own Mr H.  He ‘s been around since the 90s and he never fails to deliver quality soul. That quality started  with a band called Mainstreet. Then after  a deal with Kongo Records, Vic and his partner in soul, Peter May, moved over to Ralph Tee’s Expansion set up and since then albums like ‘Optimistic’,  ‘Take It To The Top’ and ‘My Time Is Here’ have been rightly acclaimed by tastemakers and, more importantly,  won commercial success.

For ‘Dreams’ Victor is one again working with Peter May. And why not? Why try to fix something that isn’t broken? Over the years, the pair have crafted a unique, “signature” sound – smooth but never bland, adult but never middle of the road and soulful but never histrionic!

Here on ‘Dreams’ hear plenty more of that signature sound. By now you should be familiar with the album-heralding singles,  ‘Let The Lovin’ Start’ – a sweet and gentle dance groove  and the silky ’Like The Old Days’ – a classic trip down soul’s memory lane.

Those two aren’t the only highlights. The remaining eight cuts have plenty to offer. If you like to cut the odd rug (sedately, of course) tracks like ‘We’ve  Got Love’, ‘Got My Mind Made Up’, ‘Gonna Be Right There’, ‘Movin’ On’ and  the album title track will get feet tapping and hips swaying (arthritis permitting!). if you’re in a more romantic mood, then maybe you should take cuts like ‘Blowing My Mind’ and ‘World Without You’ for a test drive. That just leaves the sprightly ‘You’re My Girl’ which like everything else on offer proves that in this crazy old soul world there’s no substitute for experience.

Victor’s ‘Dreams’ is released this Friday, 17th May.

(BB) 4/5

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