Music Reviews

Review – ‘Hardcastle IX’ by Paul Hardcastle

 July 19, 2020

By  ExoticDJ

The legendary Paul Hardcastle is still laying it down! He has come a long way from the classic, Rainforest. That was all the way back in 1984. There aren't too many artists out there that can stay relevant for 35 years. Whether it is a solo release, or as the leader of the Jazzmasters, it is always an event when he releases an album. 

Hardcastle IX is his the project for 2020. It drops on July 24th, and we are sure you will like the album. There are 13 tracks, but one is an interlude and one of the songs is broken up into two parts.

Let's check it out!

Review - 'Hardcastle IX' by Paul Hardcastle

The set starts out with an interlude. In Welcome To The Morning, Hardcastle just eases into the album, sort of like an interlude for a live show.

Latitude is the first single off the album. It is straight mid-tempo goodness. The sax is really smooth and the piano is vintage Hardcastle. One commenter on YouTube, "Can't go wrong with Paul Hardcastle in the rotation." I know that's right!

Tropicool is next. If you have the word "cool" in the title, it better be extra cool. This song should be the soundtrack of every dream sequence in feature films from here on out. The trumpet is featured, and we are sure that you will have an out of body experience every time it comes on.

In Welcome To The Beach, Hardcastle goes to his signature uptempo sound, and on the hook, you get the horn and the keyboards playing together in harmony. During the verse the two instruments are both featured separately. There is something really comforting about those keyboard sounds.

Hardcastle breaks it all the way down with Outside My Window. This is sensuality at it's best. His daughter, Maxine Hardcastle provides some vocals here. Overall, this is one of the top tracks on the album.

Once again, sax is the way to go on the next track. Let It Go offers a blueprint on how to create a mid-tempo groove that will be relevant for the next 20 years. This type of song never goes out of style and you can add it to virtually any type of playlist.

Soaring like An Eagle is up next. This is a nice R&B track, and my only gripe is that it should have a male lead vocal. That would have taken this song over the top. Nonetheless, it is still a great track.

The slow grooves continue with No Escape Pt 1. The keyboard arrangement will make you groove in your seat, and Maxine is back with some vocal riffs. After listening to this, I just may need a cigarette...and I don't even smoke!

Universal Vibes is just that, a song that transcends any language, lifestyle, or culture. This is the type of track that will fit at a quiet evening in the US, while also serving as background music for a small dinner party in South Africa.

We pick up the pace a little with Falling. I sense a little island flair in that Hardcastle style. This one is difficult to put into words, but in this case, the music does all of the talking. It is a song that should be in heavy rotation in every French Cafe.

No Escape Pt 2 is next. Very similar to part 1, and in case you did not get enough the first time, here you get that extra helping.

We get a curveball next with Lovin' You Lovin' Me. This is a straight vocal track, and it has a nice bounce that will make you sing along. 

The album concludes with Innocent. This track contains several elements. It is a strong drum patch, sensual background vocals, and an Electronica/Acid Jazz feel. You can really say that about all of the tracks, but this one really embodies the two genres.

The latest edition of the Hardcastle series is the perfect soundtrack for 2020. We have been staying in more, and this is the type of music that will relax your mind, and take you away from all of the stresses of the world.

Be sure to start streaming Hardcastle IX Starting July 24th.

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