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  • Writer's pictureGloria Tang

Blue Soul Ten New Album 'This Is Worth It'

Blue Soul Ten, a 20-year music veteran, began a few decades ago as a radio DJ. He also studied music at Berklee College of Music, where he learned music production. His album, This Is Worth It, incorporates hip-hop, soul and jazz together. Sonically, this is extremely smooth music. It all goes down easy. There are no harsh rap moments, nor are there any house-shaking funk recordings. Instead, it’s akin to what they used to describe as smoochy music. It’s almost as though Blue Soul Ten has explicitly designed these 13 tracks for the bedroom.

The album’s last song, “Blue Theme VI,” includes a snaking saxophone part, which winds over the all-instrumental track. The listener is almost expecting Sade’s quiet storm voice to enter the mix at any second. She doesn’t, but a bubbling bass line, plus the aforementioned sax part, sure give this a Sade vibe. It sounds like it could be a TV show theme, especially when trumpet comes in toward the end.

The album’s opener, however, is about as funky as this music gets. Combining percussion and handclaps, before electric piano breezes around the mix, the song’s vocal is both spoken and sung – at the same time. It’s a wonderful introductory song, as it announces all the different instruments needed to create the tune. It’s a little like a smooth jazz take on Sly Stone’s “Dance to the Music.” The song’s lyric also speaks to how music, in general, is sometimes all that’s needed to create a party atmosphere. Before drinks are even served, some really nice grooves put guests in a good mood. This is Friday night after work, not Monday morning at the office.

One gets the impression these musical grooves came before the lyrics were written. The words to “Different Than I’m Used To,” sound like they’re written primarily to fit the groove, rather than attempting to tell a story separate from the track’s music. Lyrically, these songs sound like they concern general romantic issues. There isn’t a lot of complicated stuff going on with its words. This isn’t Marvin Gaye’s Here, My Dear, that’s for sure.

One of the album’s best tracks, is also one of its simplest. Titled “Up to You,” it’s little more than a soulful vocal over an electric piano part. “You say you want my lovin’,” it begins, and then continues, “But can you be trusted?” Clearly, this romance is conditional. Wisely, this guy doesn’t want to get involved with someone he can’t trust. The song’s title is like an ultimatum. Where this relationship goes is entirely up to this other one. This other needs to prove to be trustworthy before things go any further.

Blue Soul Ten creates contemporary soul music that will also appeal to old school soul fans. These are appealingly predictable songs, in the best possible ways. It’s rare to find an album your mom and your grandma might also love, but this sounds to be the one. It’s good, and even better if you’re in the mood for love.

Listen to Blue Soul Ten here:


-Dan MacIntosh


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