Album Review: Myron & E, Broadway

This is modern soul without the regressive “neo” element. It’s devoid of ersatz vinyl hiss and under-quantised clicks and pops. Daptone fans will recognise the quivering tremolo of the guitars, the insistent, chime-laden drumming and that mellifluous, undeniably retro organ. But classic soul fans will understand that despite operating under the title of “Myron & E”, which acts as a neat little soubriquet, the two individual voices contained within the title aren’t at all compatible. The singers have chemistry without harmony. The voices don’t match, but the spirits, and the souls, are kindred. Go figure.On opening track “Turn Back”, the listener’s introduction to Myron Glasper and Eric “E Da Boss” Cooke’s swag, their harmony is atonal and discordant. And therein lies the beauty: this isn’t retro, it’s classic. The production is crisp and nouveau, with an excellent, vibrant string section giving the sound an extra romantic chutzpah. It makes up a large part of why this album works. While Tru Thoughts bands like The Bamboos and Jumbonics can at times equate to aural blaxploitation, enjoyable and satisfying in their own way, Broadway is an album for the modern era informed by the dusty vinyl of the past.Jaunty pop numbers like “If I Gave You My Love” and “Everyday Love” are reminiscent of Marvin Gaye‘s early work with Tammi Terrell. They balance out the moodier tracks like “Back N Forth” and album closer “They Don’t Know”, the latter being more reminiscent of the What’s Going On-era Gaye, finger-snaps and reverb-heavy atmospherics.While the album is never quite as vivacious as that of its direct ancestors, and sparse on the hooks which made much of the Motown and Stax output so heart-warming and memorable, it succeeds in setting Glasper and Cooke apart from their peers. Stones Throw, being ever the individualists, have found two personalities that blend in counterpoint to their vocal chops. Broadway is an enjoyable and highly authentic record that may not elevate, but will definitely Greg Moskovitch

July 25th 2013
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