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topopMAC1
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"Soul UK" Professional Reviews
« Thread started on: Jun 30th, 2011, 9:53pm »

"SOUL UK" REVIEWS:

Reviews are starting to come in now... pretty glowing so far!

The Express:

Quote:
BEVERLEY KNIGHT: SOUL UK 4/5 (HURRICANE)
Friday July 1, 2011
By Simon Gage

WITH a superlative soul voice, a lovely personality and adventurous approach to music – she’ll do anything from deep soul to shake-it-out rock – it’s a surprise Beverley Knight isn’t a massive star.

Maybe with this album of covers of British soul hits her moment has come. For other artists this sort of thing might be an in-betweener album. Beverley’s interpretations of tracks by among others Soul II Soul, Jamiroquai and Princess and including Say I’m Your Number One, Apparently Nothin’ and Fairplay, are original, thoughtful, soulful and pack quite a punch.

Nice one.


BBC:

Quote:
Beverley Knight Soul UK Review
Knight’s taste for a cover version is impeccable.
David Quantick 2011-06-30

The covers album is a noble tradition: a chance for an artist to pay tribute to their roots, to avoid writing any new material, and to present their listeners with songs that everyone knows they like already, because they’ve heard them. From Bowie to George Michael, John Legend to Paul Weller, a covers set is a chance to tell people where you’re coming from and, often, to pause for breath while you work out where you’re going to next.

Beverly Knight is a brilliant soul singer, who grew up at a time when black British music wasn’t as united as it is in these days of grime riding high in the pop charts. High quality dance and soulful pop acts struggled to have more than one hit single, and very few – Rod Temperton’s Heatwave and Jazzie B’s Soul II Soul are notable exceptions – were able to maintain albums success and international fame.

Both those acts are referred to here on Soul UK. ‘Soul’ in this insistence is a fairly broad church, referring to the (generally brilliant) soul pop made in Britain over the last 30 years. As a testament to the often-overlooked music made in the days when RnB still meant Big Joe Turner, not Beyoncé, Soul UK is remarkably effective. The songs covered here are wide-ranging, from the Prince-like rock pop of Roachford’s Cuddly Toy to Heatwave’s gorgeous ballad Always and Forever. Knight’s memory and taste are impeccable – it’s nothing but a joy to hear Junior Giscombe’s Mama Used to Say or Princess’ Say I’m Your Number One again.

If there is a criticism of this album – which is certainly a record you’d be enormously hard-pressed to dislike – it’s that Knight doesn’t always find it easy to impose her personality on these well-known tracks. On the great Apparently Nothin’ – and despite an excellent rap break – she doesn’t add anything particular to the Young Disciples original. But when the arrangements and the vocals are given a touch of freshness, as in the Motown’ed-up cover of Cuddly Toy, Knight’s version breathes and her versatility is given room to roam. More of that (and a cover of Linx’s awesome Intuition) would have been nice here, but this is a good record.


The Mirror:

Quote:
Beverley Knight - Soul UK album review: Our premier lady of soul
by Gavin Martin, Daily Mirror 1/07/2011

****

No singer is in a better position than Beverley Knight to pay meaningful tribute to the last three decades of British soul.

Since her emergence in 1995, the Wolverhampton wonder has herself been a tireless exponent of the form. This country’s most consistently successful soul star, Knight has earned the respect of Prince, Stevie Wonder and Quincey Jones, comprehensively debunked the myth that homegrown soul performers are forever destined to remain in the shadow of their American counterparts.

Drawing on her considerable experience across a rich range of styles – from gospel to funk, R&B and rock – Bev describes this album as her “labour of love”, a claim borne out by the care, enthusiasm and vitality of her performances.

It’s a beautifully curated collection too, mixing groundbreaking pop hits (the first single, a joyful version of Junior Giscombe’s Mama Used To Say) with rarer grooves from iconic influences. You also get Fairplay – one of the less celebrated tracks from 80s pioneers Soul II Soul – a storming reworking of Roachford’s rockin’ Cuddly Toy and Jamiroquoi’s eco-aware When You Gonna Learn.

Soul UK is a boon for students of music history and lovers of vocal excellence seeking a musical masterclass.

File under another Knight to remember.


Female First:

Quote:
Album Review: Beverley Knight - Soul UK
25 June 2011

Out July 4

Beverley Knight is set to take the charts by storm with her seventh studio album.

Soul UK is Knight's attempt at a covers album, as she tries to reinterpret classic British soul tracks.

The album manages to feel consistent, which is a definite achievement for a collection of covers.

Opening with Soul II Soul's 'Fairplay' (which features an introduction from band member Jazzie B), Soul UK shows Knight's influences whilst proving her own talent.

Knight holds absolutely nothing back, belting out the songs that influenced her own style and career.

Pulling off a covers album is a talent, both in your interpretations of the songs and the track-listing.

Soul UK does well on both of these, managing to blend well-known hits with some lesser-known (but still wonderful) numbers.

Beverley Knight covers Jamiroquai's 'When You Gonna Learn', dropping the tempo a bit from the original.

It's a stunning album that shows an impressive range from a brilliant vocalist.

Knight picked the songs well, and it made Soul UK an album that feels like her own.

Nothing seems out of place or sticks out as being bad, with every track having the potential to be a single.

It's well-paced, moving from the up-beat ('Cuddly Toy') to the slower, tender ballads ('Damn') without feeling forced or disjointed.

The album just flows wonderfully, again down to the choice of songs and the structure of the track-listing.

Showing the extent of her talent, Soul UK ends beautifully on George Michael's 'One More Try'.

It proves that Beverley Knight is deserving of being called UK's Queen of Soul, and makes us hopeful for her next album of original material.

Female First - Alistair McGeorge


The Telegraph:

Quote:
Beverley Knight: Soul UK, CD review
Beverley Knight celebrates British soul. Rating: * * *
Beverley Knight: bridging the worlds of pop and r&b
By Thomas H Green

11:36AM BST 30 Jun 2011
Hurricane, £8.99

On this covers album Beverley Knight celebrates, as the title intimates, British soul music. She’s a likeable singer who has consistently bridged the worlds of pop and r&b. Knight revels in funky numbers by Jamiroquai, George Michael and Soul II Soul, but more rewarding are lesser-known songs she grew up with such as Mama Used to Say and Southern Freeez.

Download this: Mama Used to Say
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topopMAC1
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Re: "Soul UK" Professional Reviews
« Reply #1 on: Jul 1st, 2011, 10:04am »

This is getting 4 star reviews across the board! This is her most critically praised album in a while!

THE SUN:

****



...and here's the Daily Express...and Daily Mirror ones in print form:



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Re: "Soul UK" Professional Reviews
« Reply #2 on: Jul 1st, 2011, 2:48pm »

Great reviews, and very well deserved by Bev
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Re: "Soul UK" Professional Reviews
« Reply #3 on: Jul 1st, 2011, 4:02pm »

They're all fantastic reviews. Nice one!

First negative tinged review, but it still gets a 3 star though.

Evening Standard

Quote:
CDs of the week: Beverley Knight and Alice Gold

If Beverley Knight's career remains a frustrating combination of "not quites" and "almosts", she remains Britain's leading soul madam - and who can blame a woman with a substantial, almost wholly self-penned six-album back catalogue for buying time with a covers album?

Wisely, she has stuck to what she knows and grew up with, hence a vague theme featuring British soul classics from 1977 (Heatwave's smoocher Always and Forever) to 1996's Damn from Barnet's Lewis Taylor, the great lost British soul enigma.

As is the nature of the covers albums beast, it's more of a curate's egg than anything a hen owned by Rowan Williams might produce. Junior Giscombe's rip-roaring Mama Used to Say seems ideal for Knight but she makes a terrible hash of it, adding nothing while losing the song's essential sweet nature.

Elsewhere, she has included a lacklustre trot through Soul II Soul's Fairplay, seemingly to
allow Jazzie B to introduce it, and she turns Princess's sparkling Say I'm Your Number One into a dreary dirge.

Yet she's too much of a quality artist not to bring something to the party. She nails the finger-clicking strut of Young Disciples's Apparently Nothin', while she hurls herself into Roachford's Cuddly Toy with such elan, you wonder just how impressive a rock vocalist she could be.

Best of all though is Knight's lengthy gospel-tinged overhaul of George Michael's epic One More Time, where she offers hope without forgetting the pain. It's a stunning vocal performance, rendered no less soul-stirring by the mystery of why it's the only time when she really lets herself go.
JOHN AIZLEWOOD


http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/music/article-23966606-cds-of-the-week-beverley-knight-and-alice-gold.do

And another positive one from Music OMH

Quote:
Beverley Knight - Soul UK ***
(Hurricane) UK release date: 4 July 2011
by Faye Blyth

Releasing any number of cover singles, with the arduous task of having to live up to previously built up expectations, can be daunting for any artist. Having reached her seventh studio album, Beverley Knight can be commended for releasing Soul UK, comprising exclusively of British soul covers. Had she been a less experienced artist, her latest work may have been considered little more than egotistical self-indulgence. Yet because of her soulful mark having been firmly made on the music industry, her well-established fan base will surely relish this unusual treat as Knight pays homage to her personal musical influences.

Three tracks in comes the single Mama Used To Say, adding a satisfying twist to the original by adding her pleasant female vocal, rendering the cover bubbly and sassy. Her recent performance of the track on Later... with Jools Holland, with all its sizzling passion, will certainly have served as an appetiser, and may even have been enough to persuade the more casual listener towards the album.

As she revealed on the show, the album is intended as a celebration of the work of British soul artists, and hence the first track Fairplay, covering Soul2Soul, was an obvious choice. Nonetheless, this does not detract from the quality of that soulful vocal expressiveness Knight has honed over the years. In other tracks she has selected more niche content, namely Say I’m Your Number One (originally by 1980s artist Princess). Its matches her passionate vocals and is melodically soothing.

A confident choice is Omar's 1980s track There’s Nothing Like This, which was Omar’s most popular single and made a significant impression at the time. Yet once again, Knight’s gamble has paid off, having formed a modern, sensual version of Omar’s breezy single. Being without a major label may cause listeners to wonder whether her ability to come up with new material is running dry, but with clear vocal talent and passion for what she is keen to label as ‘celebration’, the reforming of older releases can surely be marked as a willingness to increase awareness of the soul genre. It should not be forgotten that she has successfully created six albums of original material prior to Soul UK, and hence it is more likely that her aim here is to appeal to a wider audience rather than to hide a lack of creativity. This in itself is not without difficulty, as the possible intended effect of reeling in older listeners by reminding them of soul favourites of the past may not be achievable if their memories are not matched, perhaps resulting in a dismissal as opposed to an interest in her earlier work.

Overall, while it may be unlikely that those who were not already fans of the genre will be taken aback, it is hoped that Knight’s fans will appreciate the journey into the mind of this soulful, sassy woman, and that fans of the genre as a whole will rediscover, or perhaps be introduced to, some forgotten gems of Soul UK.
« Last Edit: Jul 1st, 2011, 4:11pm by Sparticus » Logged

topopMAC1
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Re: "Soul UK" Professional Reviews
« Reply #4 on: Jul 1st, 2011, 6:18pm »

MOBO Review:

Quote:
Album Review: Beverley Knight ‘Soul UK’
Author: Dean Woodhouse

Celebrating the best of Soul in the UK, the front woman of Soul this side of the Atlantic Beverley Knight has compiled a record dedicated to the UK Soul movement. With other genres of music getting high praise over the course of 40 years like Rock, Techno, Hip Hop and now Dubstep getting the attention of the pop charts, Miss Beverley wants to address the importance of Soul music and how it has affected the likes of British artists. Spanning across the late 70s until the early 90s, the songs touch a certain generation as sentimental, the rest of us get to here some classics again from yesteryear that were perhaps forgotten.

Some powerful ballads show off the voice of the elegant Beverley but her capabilities don’t stop there. Tracks like ‘Mama Used To Say’ originally by Junior in 1982 and ‘Apparently Nothin’’ (featuring Glen Scott & Roots Manuva) by Young Disciples make sure this record isn’t just one style of Soul but it covers the whole spectrum of the genre.

There are some interesting choices of material on Soul UK in which some people might not link to two artists together. For instance, the last song on the album called ‘One More Try’ is a track by none other than George Michael. A great artist but you might not necessarily put Beverley in the same breath. Though with a little change in instruments and a different vibe in place, Beverley creates a great re-mastered version of the George Michael classic and deserves its place on the record for sure.

Though you are treated to a hit upon hit collection, some fans might feel cheated that there are no original songs by the singer/songwriter. After her previous record 100% was released in 2009, her fans might have thought Beverley wanted to contribute the same way in her future projects rather than just stating the point for one record. We all know Beverley is a talented musician and can conjure up a song by little walks in life and it would have been nice to see it expressed yet again.

However, the message is clear throughout the record on what Beverley wants to accomplish, to remind people about the strong history the country has with Soul music and it’s not just the Americans who know how to create good Soul music. With this in mind, you would have to say that the album will stretch the knowledge of the UK public to discover new British Soul that they may or may not have heard of before. Artists such as Freeez, Princess, Loose Ends, Rod Temperton, Jaki Graham, Andrew Roachford and Lewis Taylor have essentially been given a new life.

Soul UK receives an impressive 4 M out of 5

Soul UK is out on the 4th of July

MOBO TV recently recorded a interview with Beverley Knight and it will be broadcasted as part of MOBO Mondays very soon. Stay tuned!
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topopMAC1
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Re: "Soul UK" Professional Reviews
« Reply #5 on: Jul 2nd, 2011, 08:07am »

This one is hilarious... can anyone spot the mistake(s)?!

Express & Star:

Quote:
CD review: Beverley Knight, Soul UK
Saturday 2nd July 2011, 9:00AM BST.

As if from nowhere, Wolverhampton’s soul sister Beverley Knight has recorded one of the album’s of the year. Following the relative disappointment of Affirmation, she’s returned to her A game with a record that brings to mind the genius of Aretha.

Beverley Knight, Soul UKThe opening strains of Every Time You See Me Smile provide an auspicious start and it’s pure gold from then on.

The faux-soul schmaltz of earlier work is replaced by original, inventive, muscular songs that live long in the memory.

Happily, Knight’s voice is not held back and she soars high above the clouds.

Gospel, soul, groove and R n B feature on this quickly-recorded and instinctive-sounding release, which features the self-penned highlight Every Time You See Me Smile.

Soul UK is Knight at her blistering best and, on this sort of form, no other soul diva in the country can live with her.

She’s the best there is.

Andy Richardson
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Re: "Soul UK" Professional Reviews
« Reply #6 on: Jul 2nd, 2011, 2:15pm »

haha! has that actually gone to print - that is bad !!
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Re: "Soul UK" Professional Reviews
« Reply #7 on: Jul 2nd, 2011, 3:18pm »

LOL, nothing like a bit of hometown support, huh?
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Re: "Soul UK" Professional Reviews
« Reply #8 on: Jul 2nd, 2011, 10:24pm »

It really is!!! I saw Bev at Bishop Auckland today, I sent the link to her about it and she was laughing about it... too funny!

Another positive review from The Independent:

Quote:
Album: Beverley Knight, Soul UK (Hurricane Records)
Reviewed by Howard Male
Sunday, 3 July 2011

Wolverhampton's finest revisits some favourite home-grown soul from her youth, making a strong case for her argument that this genre always gets overlooked when the media gets nostalgic about the 1980s and 1990s.

Our Bev wraps her powerhouse chops around the likes of Omar, Roachford and Junior, but the high point is saved until last. Somehow, she makes George Michael's leaden "One More Try" sound as timeless as Jimmy Cliff's "Many Rivers to Cross".
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Re: "Soul UK" Professional Reviews
« Reply #9 on: Jul 3rd, 2011, 10:09am »

albumGreat review in Independent On Sunday :
www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/music/reviews/
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david9108
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Re: "Soul UK" Professional Reviews
« Reply #10 on: Jul 3rd, 2011, 1:09pm »

Only got two stars in the mail on Sunday
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topopMAC1
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Re: "Soul UK" Professional Reviews
« Reply #11 on: Jul 3rd, 2011, 1:19pm »

on Jul 3rd, 2011, 1:09pm, david9108 wrote:
Only got two stars in the mail on Sunday


I read that, I think they missed the point of the album TBH, at least it didn't slate Bev, more the choice of songs!
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Re: "Soul UK" Professional Reviews
« Reply #12 on: Jul 3rd, 2011, 4:23pm »

Yeh it is more about the songs tbh, nothing bad said about Bev - TBH it looks daft on their part when it has had such excellent reviews accross the board!!
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Re: "Soul UK" Professional Reviews
« Reply #13 on: Jul 3rd, 2011, 4:27pm »

on Jul 3rd, 2011, 4:23pm, david9108 wrote:
Yeh it is more about the songs tbh, nothing bad said about Bev - TBH it looks daft on their part when it has had such excellent reviews accross the board!!


Absolutely! This is definitely getting better reviews than "100%" so far.
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Re: "Soul UK" Professional Reviews
« Reply #14 on: Jul 5th, 2011, 09:32am »

Looks like Express & Star have been alerted to, or noticed, the error they ran with as the review has been tanked from their site.

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