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Victor Davies

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Album Review

The words singer/songwriter rarely appear within the genre of dance music, which is probably why Victor Davies sounds so refreshing and new, despite the fact that he is working in the classic '70s folk-funk template laid down by artists like Roy Ayers and Terry Callier. In essence, Davies' debut album on JCR (Jazzanova Compost Recordings) sounds like the template music that jazz-dub heavyweights Jazzanova and Kruder & Dorfmeister rebuilt into their '90s beat-fetish likeness of the original. But Davies' stellar vocals and melodies that walk the line between classic and cliché create a strangely comforting and familiar place where the grown-up children of '70s soul-schmaltz fusion can grasp at a nostalgia lying just out of reach. "One Thing" centers around a country-folk guitar that could have been snagged from the Black Crowes, or better yet, Led Zeppelin. "Spirit" takes the marshmallow pop influence of "Afternoon Delight" and brings it to just the hip side of easy listening. The opener, "Sound of the Samba," begins as a melancholy tribute to the Latin festivals before a theatrical tempo shift brings the listener into the middle of the Caribbean disco carnival Davies is singing about. Unafraid of the commitment required to make a truly inspired song, Davies demonstrates why, despite the academic illusion to the contrary, a sampler is no match for an artist with a gold-stringed guitar and honey-coated voice.


Born: East London, England

Genre: R&B/Soul

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Born and raised in East London, Victor Davies, the son of a West African father and a British mother, grew up listening to artists like Stevie Wonder and Curtis Mayfield, but it was watching his older brother's friend (and member of '80s soul group Central Line) play guitar that truly inspired him. He got his first guitar at age 14 and began taking classical lessons, though his impatience with reading music caused him to quit after about a year. He began to explore the burgeoning soul/funk scene...
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Victor Davies, Victor Davies
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