WILL DOWNING; Pieces (Sophisticated Soul)

WILL DOWNING is rightly nicknamed “The Prince of Sophisticated Soul” but on the evidence of  his brand new album/EP, this concise 7 tracker that is ‘Pieces’, he could equally be called “The King Of Consistency”. The album, his 26th, is a perfect definition of Will’s art – it’s sensuous, smooth, emotional and, yes, sophisticated and soulful.

We enjoyed an album taster last November when Mr. D released the lead single, a gentle mid-tempo ‘Kinda Guy’. It was everything we’ve come to expect from our hero – smooth and suave and delivered in that rich, very special, velvety voice.

‘Kinda Guy’ still shines brightly. Amongst the other highlights are ‘You Deserve Better’ which features input from garlanded keyboardist Ronnie Foster and some sweet acoustic guitar  from David P Stevens; ‘What I Got To Do’ which has a definite funk undertow; the dreamy ‘Dammit I Want You’ which has a Southern soul/Bobby Womack flavour; ‘Make You Mine’ which is a classic Downing ballad; ‘Love On You’ which proffers clever syncopation behind the vocal; and ‘Early Years’ which might just remind you of Barry White – no surprise… it’s an old Barry White song but here Will makes it his own.

If my adding up is correct that make 6 “highlights”, alongside that lovely single. So there we are… on a 7 track album/EP there are no duds, no filler! But would we expect anything different from Will Downing? “The Prince of Sophisticated Soul” or The King Of Consistency… it makes no odds. Our man continues to deliver in his own, unique, soulful way.

(BB) 4/5