Album Review : Amplified Soul
Artist : Incognito
Genre : Jazz
Every Incognito record is an event for jazz enthusiasts. They have built a small base of loyal fans. Thus, it is easy for them to disappoint fans because of their numbers. So, will this record finally deliver opposite expectations?
The record has several surprises like its first song “Amplify My Soul (Part 1).” It is my first time to hear Incognito with a male vocalist rendering the song. In “I Couldn’t Love You More” the band provides a song that most of their fans would expect; good vocal rendition, horn background, and easy listening melody. “Rapture” has the same hooks that are associated with most of Workshy songs. However, it has some idiotic lyrics like “my time is yours, your time is mine.” In “Hands Up If You Wanna Be Loved,” it utilizes piano, horns, and sax to create a song that avoids being predictive due to “hands up” words in the title; the kind of song that is easy to create a dance remix.
Watch official video of “Hands Up If You Wanna Be Loved” in here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N21_MyFfc0Q.
“Hats (Make Me Wanna Holler) is sung with aplomb. It has a good beat that can tempt you to do the “mash potato” dance moves. The song “Silver Shadow” goes back to the same rhythm that you heard in the first four songs. Another surprise here as it breaks the mood that “Hats” created. “Deeper” is a mood changing moment. It starts with usual ambient mood that makes the song a qualifier on the usual ambient record compilation. It has an Eryka Baddu feel when you listen the song until it ends.
Watch official video of “SilverShadow” in here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=16NlJ4bwdQ4.
“Amplify My Soul (Part 2) “ is the usual instrumental break that Incognito infused in each of their album. “Something Bout July” becomes boring a song and it could be due to the effect of the song preceding it. In “Day or Night,” you will find a Chuck Mangione refrain here or even an Herb Alpert arrangement. If you eliminate the vocals, you will surely agree with me on the observed effect. There is supposed magic in “Wind Sorceress.” However, the contention that I posited with “Day and Night” song is confirmed here. The horn arrangement has “Feel So Good” by Chuck Mangione.
Watch live performance of “Day and Night” in here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0_lzVo55bQk.
“Another Way” retraced the path of the album; Incognito brand of jazz songs. In “I See The Sun,” you will find another surprise here as the female lead singer tries to mix her voice in lower register with the usual pitch and tone that she delivers in other songs. “Never Known A Love Like This” creates an impression that this is a salute to Stephanie Mills “Never Knew Love Like This Before.” However, you find an Al Jarreu type of song here. Another surprise is in store with regard to the last two songs of this record. Unlike with their previous albums where they ended it with catchy tunes, they opted to deliver ballads. Thus, after you finished listening, you feel sleepy.
Watch live performance of “Never Known A Love Like This” in here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2fRL5X0aXfo.
Indeed, the latest album is a significant moment for their small fan bases. For ordinary listeners, the first four songs were a treat and the rest of the songs in the album were virtually rehashed of what the first four songs has offered. I rate this album 2.5 stars out of 5 stars.