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The Rebirth This Journey In

From the first mellow tones and luscious vocals, it‘s obvious this album is good shit-even if its range isn‘t the broadest. A combination of funk, soul and jazz, the LA-based septet recalls predecessors like Soul II Soul, Brand New Heavies and Earth Wind & Fire, but avoids slavish imitation. Standouts include "Every Body Say Yeah," in which Noelle Scaggs‘ warm vocals (urging you to "celebrate if you feel it") are joined in lush harmony with vocals from other band members, and the danceable, gently Brazilian-inflected "Talking Me Down." "Stay Away" is a laid-back gem, and the title track is simply addictive. The band members have ridiculously polished resumes, and have worked with names like DJ Babu, Ozomatli and Breakestra-their musicianship is manifest. The layers of groove-smooth bass, deeply warm vocals and blues-laden keyboards- make this an easy journey to join in on.

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