Brian Simpson’s latest effort, Persuasion was released on November 18th, and I must say that musically, he gives us some variety. I consider this an R&B album, even though there aren’t any vocals on any of the tracks. This is rare, as you will usually hear albums with at least some backing vocals on a few tracks.
No vocals….No problem!
When you start listening to an album, you always want the first track to give you some sort of feeling.
For me, it either has to:
- Sound like the beginning of a journey
- Be an uptempo track
Persuasion is the opening track, and I must say that the bass line is funky enough for me to get excited about the rest of the album. By the way, it also features Boney James. Do I need to say more? Well, Simpson’s piano chops are in full effect here, and Mr. James offers the right amount of support as they flow throughout the song. Ramon Yslas is on percussion and Alex Al supplies the groove to round out the group for this track. Quite honestly, I can listen to a full on concert with these musicians.
Wonderland is the first single release, and it is continuing the trend I have been noticing this year. Along with other artists such as the Rippingtons, Paul Taylor, Chuck Loeb and Vincent Ingala, Simpson offers a track that has a EDM vibe. You see, EDM is good when real musicians are involved. Steve Oliver co-wrote the track, and it is definitely a winner.
One of the strongest grooves on the album is One and Only. This is one of those mid tempo jams that has a nice sax solo in the bridge. This is also one of those tracks where I made up my own lyrics to sing over it.
I love it when certain songs inspire me to do that.
Simpson slows the pace a little with Lost in Love. The guitar here is courtesy of Peter White. It almost has a new age type of feel. You all know I love Peter White, so this is a superb collaboration.
I am feeling the song, Need You Now. I was surprised with the 808 beat that kicked in. It is an upbeat slow jam. I know that sounds like an oxymoron, but you will know what I mean when you hear it.
Supernatural and Starbound are the uptempo tracks on the album. Starbound has a Paul Hardcastle type of groove and this one I would like to hear live. There are certain songs that you need to hear in person.
Take It Up is also a mid tempo track. It starts out with some groovy piano playing, but as the song progresses, it has a smooth breakdown. Simpson then picks up the pace as he tickles those keys to close out the track.
Surreal Theme is a fitting name for the track. It starts out like we were about to party, but then it mellows out. All the way down. So throughout the track, we have this tug-o-war between the mellow and the funk……I really like the contrast.
The set concludes with Always Here For You. I absolutely love the melody. It is one of those “groove in your seat” type of songs.
I would definitely recommend this album. Hey – you can also drop this in with your Christmas playlist this holiday season. Nobody will be mad at that!
I am currently working on a new Smooth Jazz mix, and I will have to work in either Wonderland or Persuasion. Decisions, decisions…..
Pick up your copy here.