Music Review: Soul Proprietor by Echo

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November 15, 2017
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Music Review: Soul Proprietor by Echo

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Track Listing

This Will Be
This Is It
People Get Ready
I Got The Blues
Ain't Nobody
You Are The Universe
Everlasting Love
I Get The Sweetest Feeling
No Pain, No Gain / We're In This Together
Super Duper Love
Know Where To Run
You're My Everything
Do I Love You (Indeed I Do)
What's Going On?

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East London and Essex based band ECHO are back with this, their second album, ‘Soul Proprietor’. Unlike their first acclaimed album this release is all studio recordings – and what a collection recordings! 14 more well known (and some less well known) classic soul and Motown tracks have been given the full ECHO ‘eternal edge’ treatment, including songs made famous by the likes of Marvin Gaye, The Temptations, Jakie Wilson, Curtis mayfield, Rufus & Chaka Khan, Natalie Cole, The Brand New Heavies, Martha and the Vandellas, Melba Moore and more

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Soul Proprietor by Echo
(Updated: November 15, 2017)
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Personal Rating 

For many the Motown Records music era is one of the finest generations of music ever. An evolution of sound and style came out of that record company that influenced many other producers, no matter their genre, and the influences are still there in the DNA of many of the world's greatest artists today. So with this album the East London and Essex based ECHO have set themselves a high bar - to do musical justice to classic tracks that are engrained into worldwide culture, whilst bringing something of themselves into the mix too.

Echo are a 9-piece band and on this album they have worked with producer Richard Cottle as well as Andrew Linham who has helped them bring in the brass sounds, along with members of his brass band filling out the soundscape on their first studio-recorded album. The album swings into action with a brilliant version of Natalie Cole's "This Will Be" and it certainly carries the feeling of the original and straight away the effect of the brass instruments is felt on this recording. A great start showing that this is a talented band that is really worth listening to.

"This is it" is a song originally recorded by Melba Moore and thankfully Echo's version bares more of a resemblance to that version than the Dannii Minogue version from 1993! If anything they have mellowed this song back a little bit in the middle, but that's not a bad thing, it certainly moves along smoothly with some great vocals. In fact that is the same for just about every track, the arrangements brilliantly bring out the well-known melodies with the vocals carrying them off with incredible style. Just read the list of tracks above, they are (mainly) classic tunes, and they just haven't put a foot wrong bringing this album together. For most of these tracks there are numerous versions already out there by many more well-known artists, but few have managed to grasp the sound so completely and deliver such an exceptional group of pitch-perfect covers.

The one anomaly on the album is the somewhat politically motivated "What's Going On", it's the last track on the album and leaves the listener with a brass and piano background to 'news reports' about the persecution of Christians in various countries around the world. It's a bit of an interesting choice to end the album like this, but it does hit home with it's point about those who are paying the ultimate price for their beliefs.

Overall though, this is a stunning album with many classic tracks. I would imagine that for some listeners a few of these tracks would be a new revelation. Many of these songs are regular advertising music, but some have a message of hope. This isn't an all-out Christian album, but there is a very clear faith element that forms part of these songs and forms the cultural foundation that these tracks were written from.

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