Durand Jones wants to be a southern soul legend for a new generation and on the strength of this album he may well have what it takes to be just that. The press release claims it is the self-titled album but I-tunes reckons it's called Now I'm Gone. Let's go for the latter one as it may make it easier to find.
This opens like an old school soul record with a social conscience which feels right for the hyper insanity of this year. Yes, Make A Change is a plea for things to get better to increase low pay and make things work over a full on horn section with an organ in the background. It sounds like it should have come out in 1971 or so on Stax or Atlantic. Ad that's a compliment.
Smile is another really cool soul song with the drums mixed so far left that you could easily just play the drum breaks in a club without the rest of the music which would be a shame as this has a lot more heart to it than that Sean Escoffrey record I keep hearing on the radio.
Can't Keep My Cool is one of those yearning full-throated soul ballads that kinda wants to be Curtis Mayfield with the Memphis horns. If you added a bit of surface noise you could easily sell it as a crate diggers delight so grab your woman or man tight and make out to this gorgeous love song.
Groovy Babe sounds like he's stolen a tune off the MG's and everyone is dancing and shaking their tail feathers. It needs a full on video of everyone going wild in a club while dressed up to the nines all looking superfly and down with it. Damn this really is music to get on down to!
Giving Up is a little plea for some tenderness in a very Otis Redding style as those horns bring almost as much passion as can be detected in the vocals. He may have to try harder than this to get her back but damn this should have most women going weak at the knee for Durand.
Is It Any Wonder is all early Smokey Robinson with that gently pulsing organ and real simple drumming while Durand spills his heart out and the horns gently caress you. Ooh this is smooth.
Now I'm Gone sounds like it could be a lost Lee Hazelwood number as it opens and the almost stuttery instrumentation makes you do the cool jerk as the story in the lyrics unfolds. He deserts her for something else and the song includes the album's main guitar solo and, well, what a whopper it is as the song slowly builds to its finale.
The album closes with Tuck N' Roll: a great down and dirty booty call with some outrageous Jimmy Smith style organ and staccato drumming which seems to be just behind the beat as they get ready to Tuck n' Roll. Lordy, it's a funky dance craze waiting to happen.
For any lovers of great late 60's/early 70's soul who want a credible modern take on the genre, then look no further - this album will make you very happy indeed.
Find out more at Colemine Records online
Durand Jones & The Indications Facebook page