2018 is starting out VERY strong, as the new album releases are just starting to flood the airwaves. We are very interested in the new album by saxman Marion Meadows. It is titled Soul City, and it is the follow-up to the 2015 album Soul Traveler.
Soul City is the 14th album release by the veteran sax player, and he has enlisted some talented artists for this project. Norman Brown, Peter White, Maysa, Joey Sommerville, Will Gaines, Peabo Bryson and Will Downing are front and center on the album. There are a couple of names that you may not know, including Dana Lauren, Kaimi Hananoeau, Latrese Bush, and Kim Fleming which round out the cast of artists.
Soul City is a ten track set with one remake, the classic composition Time After Time written by Cyndi Lauper.
Review – Marion Meadows Album “Soul City”
The album starts off with the title track, Soul City. This is a mid-tempo track that sets the tone for the entire project. With the funky drummer beat and a chilled out bassline, the track will get you off of your seat. Norman Brown is featured on guitar, and Joey Sommerville is on the trumpet. There is also a nice keyboard solo from Chris Big Dog Davis. Meadows plays that horn like a keyboardist tickles the keys!
You can check out the track below:
Dreamin is a track that will take you to a place where you can enjoy a white, sandy beach. This track has a latin flair, and there are a few moving parts here. First, Maysa is on the mic, and that vocal tone is a perfect fit. The background vocal parts are excellent, with Maysa and Maria Meadows. Peter White adds his signature sound to the mix and Marion’s soprano sax flows effortlessly on top of the track.
You is up next. The track features Will Gaines on vocals and bass guitar. This is a head-bobbing jam, with Meadows’ sax leading the way. I would not be surprised if Meadows’ part was improvised and was done in one take. This is a top track on the album.
Merry Go Round will take you on a trip back to the 1990’s. Latrese Bush lends her vocal talents to the track and I could see this added to R&B radio playlists. You can hear Meadows’ sax sitting just below the vocals, and they blend together quite nicely.
I personally may need a remix of this!
The legendary Peabo Bryson is featured on the next track, Time After Time. Yes, it is the Cyndi Lauper composition, and the male vocal along with the tenor sax offer a different dynamic to the song. Meadows and Bryson truly add Soul to the track.
If you are ready for a sexy groove, then Consequences will fill that void. This is vintage Marion Meadows. If you have heard his previous work, you know exactly what I am talking about. Those guitar fills in the background are a nice touch.
Be With You IS the slow jam on the album. That keyboard patch is on point. Meadows has a nice sax arrangement, and you just have to sit back and enjoy the five-and-a-half minutes of goodness we have here.
Will Downing is featured on the next track, Samba De Playa. He is not singing verses, he is mostly ad-libbing, complimenting the sax play on the song. This is a great lounge sounding track.
No Wind, No Rain has all of the elements of a great track. Meadows’ sax, the keyboards, and the vocal stylings of Dana Lauren play well together. I would like to hear an “unplugged” version of this.
The set concludes with Only. The track has a New Age feel to it. In addition to Meadows, the track features Kaimi Hananoeau on guitar. Just because I am feeling the New Age vibe, it does not mean that it is not a sexy track. It will definitely take you there, if you know what I am talking about.
Musically speaking, there are several goodies on Soul City, and I think listeners will enjoy the new material. There is a nice mix of mid-tempo, smoothed out, and slow jams that will satisfy lovers of instrumental music.
It is called Soul City for a reason…It is truly an R&B album.