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Can't Hold Back

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Album Review

I once had a job where the Muzak was constantly tuned to the classic funk and soul station. All day long, day after day, classic hits by Earth Wind and Fire, and a young Michael Jackson would intermingle with less well-known songs that were obviously included to keep the licensing fees down. This debut sounds like any one of those anonymous selections. And while a few quickly became irritating on their daily rotation, many became all-time favorite songs that I wish I knew where to find now.

"In Your Car" opens with a serious Sly Stone meets Bernie Worrell groove that features Georg Levin on vocals. It never ceases to amaze me how German natives can so cleanly mimic the classic urban vocalist of the '70s with just the slightest touch of flange on the vocal chords. "Insider" features Levin dueting with an unknown female singer who also no doubt speaks with a heavy accent when not crooning soul sista style.

All of this might lead you to ponder why a particular group of German musicians, most of whom are gathered under Jazzanova's Sonar Kollektiv moniker, exude so much more soul than their American contemporaries. Or you might just enjoy this slightly derivative take on what many still consider to be the high watermark of funk music. A few more unfamiliar tunes that stand up well next to the classics.

Can't Hold Back, Georg Levin
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