Sometimes an album comes along that just works on every possible level, with songs that are not only brilliant but also memorable, and with no tracks that are either just so-so, or simply shockingly bad.
It is an extremely rare occurrence to come across the ‘perfect album’, as with even the greatest of records there are usually some sore points, and when you consider that The All Stars Collective are a group of respected artists (including Jim Mullen, Matt Clackett and Guy Phethean) working together to produce a masterpiece that shows the quality and heart of real soul music; then the odds of sheer perfection are certainly much lower than average.
But All About The Music (produced by ex Average White Band front man Hamish Stuart), has the distinction of achieving just what it says on the tin. The standard of musicianship is very high and they go out of their way to make sure the music sound as live as possible, with none of that pesky over-produced quality that is the bane of music lovers everywhere.
What also makes the album work so well is that every single track is strong enough to really make you sit back and listen. You cannot help but pay attention to the smooth sound your ears are hearing.
My particular favourite was the joyous title track, as Miss Jocelyn Brown really puts her all her energy and heart into delivering a knock-out treat, and the backing vocals are superb as well. I found myself dancing along and waving my arms in the air with a gusto that does not come over me very often.
Other noticeable tracks include the reggage-heavy On My Mind and the Marvin Gaye-sque Hey, Listen Up, which also manages to come across as very jazzy too. This could have run the risk of coming across as crass, but remember we are dealing with experts here, and they wondrously sail the ship into the harbour without a slip of the hand.
All in all, the whole album is a delectable smorgasbord for the soul.