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U Ready, Man?

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Album Review

On their third official release, vocalist Greg Humphreys and his ultra funky creation, Hobex, enjoyably embrace the timeless appeal of 1970s Philly soul and the Motown legend via a spirited meld of earthy vocals, danceable grooves, tempered horn blasts, jazzy guitar solos, and slick arrangements. Produced by former Ben Folds Five bassist Robert Sledge and featuring members of Katherine Whalen's Jazz Squad Horns, along with salsa-neo-swing musicians Tim Lett and Bob Miller of Bio Ritmo, Hobex emerges as a dead ringer for War, Curtis Mayfield, Billy Paul, or Donny Hathaway in their polyester prime. Every cut is a history lesson in the canon of rhythm & blues. From the syncopated, fat backbeat on "So Far Away," peppered with falsetto vocals and odd time signature breaks, to the street-smart shuffle of "Baby's Gone Away," to the woeful, gospel-tinged ballad "Why Can't We Try," to the acid jazz riffing beneath "He Did Mention You," U Ready Man? is a veritable jukebox of vintage soul resurrected for a new generation. Bite your lip, get up, and dance.

Customer Reviews

Another Mighty Fine Hobex Release

From the opening track "Maybe It's Me" with its soaring chorus to the tight funk number "So Far Away" Hobex's second full-length effort (not including the ep's) gets off to an incredible start. The great songs continue, including some solid instrumentals that translate to their live show ("Ken's Burn). Even more of their finest songs to-date are here: "He Did Mention You" which they have been playing live for years and the almost solemn "Blue Town Tonight." If I have any complaints about this album it is with the sequencing of tracks, and maybe the inclusion of a few too many instrumentals (although they are good tracks). Particularly out of place on this album, although a memorable part of their shows a few years ago, is Soul Food. It would have been better on a Live album or EP. The album ends quietly with the best instrumental on here, the title track. You can't go wrong downloading the whole thing, but if you just want certain tracks, try the ones mentioned in the review plus "Playin' Games" and "You Had To Tell"

Biography

Formed: 1996

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s

From the ashes of Dillon Fence comes Hobex. Founded by singer, guitarist, and songwriter Greg Humphreys, along with Steve Hill (drums) and Andy Ware (bass), Hobex makes oh-so-sweet soul music with a healthy dose of screaming guitars. Led by the excellent writing of Humphreys with a foundation built on top-notch musicianship, Hobex is an unusual band in this day and age. There is nothing sick, dark, deplorable, or even eccentric about them. They just make great music. Music you can dance to (not to...
Full Bio
U Ready, Man?, Hobex
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