Kloud9 by Kloud9
Reviewed by Chris Mann
have been singing together for 15 years and have toured the USA, South
America and Europe as part of a 4-person modern gospel outfit.
After a period of behind-the-scenes work doing radio promotions,
artist development and production, their recording break came in 1999
when they were involved with a project called Soul Stepp’n, released
by the independent UK specialist label, Expansion Records.
their first album under their own name, is also released by Expansion
Records and is the fruit of time taken out to work on songwriting.
opener (and first single) Can’t Stop Thinking About You is a
mid-paced bumpy groove with a nice rhythm guitar sound and some very
sparse keyboard work. The
male vocal is cute rather than dramatic.
It’s real boy band stuff.
You Ever is more
rhythmically sophisticated – almost jazzy – and it’s more in the
R&B vein. The
background vocals are very strong and the neat guitar and percussion
touches lift it above other artists’ songs in the same style.
groove toughens up for Never Knew which starts to sound like real
soul. I hear a voice in
there that’s halfway between Michael Jackson and George from the
Brothers Johnson. This is very radio-friendly.
vocal sound is even more evident on That’s How Love Should Be.
It’s a pretty R&B tune which stays funky enough to keep
your foot tapping and the hook is a good one.
This grabs me more the more I listen.
smiled when I heard the slap bass, trumpet and sax on the intro to Let’s
Not Lose. Karen Bernod
delivers a very sweet vocal performance on this song and the guys are
starting to go for it vocally a little more too.
A funky tune – and it’s my favourite.
Can’t stop singing this.
classy intro to Priority. String
sounds and gorgeous piano. This
ballad features a solo male vocal on the verses and the song really
benefits from that. Sexy.
classy soulful sax opens Soulmate.
This is a soul ballad which moves so nicely and the single lead
on the verses works very well. The
song runs out of steam after the sax solo but picks up for the close.
Kloud9 – interlude
leads into Promise. This
smooth, mid-paced soul number features Incognito and that trademark
super-tight brass sound. This should be huge on radio and Bluey’s touch won’t hurt
atmosphere created by the lazy groove of With Me is partly lost
for me through a vocal effect mimicking the sound of the ocean –
there’s no substitute for the real thing.
C’mon guys, remix this with more jazz guitar and crashing waves
– the “Santa Cruz” remix!
the scratchy vinyl sound at the start of Make You Mine and
you’ve got another late-night slow jam.
Kirk Whalum’s sax features on this song, which you’re not
likely to remember the day after you heard it – but you’ll have
enjoyed the dance.
might think you’re listening to Zapp’s “Computer Love” when you
hear the intro to Mercy Of Your Love with its zappy electronic
noises. I never got into this song and for me it doesn’t add
anything to the CD.
Get a girl to whisper in French over a moody guitar and soft
kick-drum and you can’t lose – or can you?
I heard Norman Brown on Lullaby For K.C.
That guitar is the bomb! The
only pure instrumental here and it’s a mellow and lovely one.
string sounds and piano are the stars here On Kloud9 – this is
more of an interlude than a song.
every-so-funky keyboard bass drives the fast Keep Me Coming Around.
That doubled horn line on the hook grabs you and this is more of
a chant than a song. This
is a strange one – I like this so much but I can’t figure out why.
has great hopes for Kloud9 – they have been described as one of the
most important new soul acts in a decade.
For me this CD stops short of being a landmark.
I’m hoping to hear the Duffie brothers deliver something from
the heart – strangely, given their gospel background, it seems like
they’re holding back on us.
Records XECD 34 no