Devin B Thompson
Tales of the Soul
Cool Soul To Make You Think While You Dance.
As a teenager our default LP’s at parties were Motown Chartbuster Vol’s 1 & 3; which laid the groundwork for a lifetime loving Soul Music of all hues and styles.
Devin B Thompson was also brought up in a house full of music, eventually gravitating to one singer above all others; Frankie Newsome aka Little Willie Parker; who he eventually got to know and become friends with.
Even if I hadn’t known that ‘fact’ I think I would have eventually guessed that Parker was a major influence on the music; but so many others are too!
As I checked out the artwork on the CD before playing the album I was left confused as to what to expect; as the actual cover pays homage to Curtis Mayfield and Isaac Hayes, while the inside photo looks like something from a Blue Note album (which I think would have made a better actual cover).
So, I was blown away by the oh so sweet sounds that did come out of the speakers; as Thompson purrs his way through Bobby Blue Bland’s Love To See You Smile; even sounding like Smokey at times; which is no bad thing; is it?
There follows a step back in time for a sultry rendition of I’m Gonna Cry a River; which instantly had me on my feet and doing a lonely shuffle in the office; imagining Mrs. Magpie was in my arms.
Even two songs in you quickly realise what a great singer Devin P Thompson is; and he has the ability to not just make you dance but think about the words and stories on offer within the songs themselves.
The first three songs are all covers; but it’s when we get into the singers’ own songs that things really get interesting.
I Ain’t No Good is a stone cold sleazy heartbreaker; that many men will associate with and ladies will raise their eyebrows to; while still consider going home with ‘him’.
This being a Soul album; there are broken hearts around every corner; and the way Thompson sings them both men and women will appreciate and understand the content, the way he croons Can’t Get Over You and especially Back Together which sounds like it should have been released way back when on the Atlantic label.
Alongside this Trademarked Sweet Soul Music; Thompson also releases his inner Funkateer on Read Your Mind; which features the magnificent Robben Ford on guitar extraordinaire.
This being 2020, no Soul album would be complete without something really deep and meaningful, and even without it being ‘a worthy cause’ Tell Me was written in the wake of Devin seeing the hostility that faced Footballer Colin Kaepernick; is a stinging Soul song that is easily my Favourite Song here; and it opens with:
“Tell me what it is about my skin
that you don’t like,”
and in the chorus he begs the question;
“Tell me what would you do
if you watch people die
because they look like you do?”
and in the chorus he asks the listener to ‘walk in his shoes‘;
Dear Lord; this is 2020 ……. why is this song and those like it still necessary?
The song closes proceedings and almost demands that you then press ‘play/repeat.’
I’ve dropped some very big names in here and there; but there’s one more singer that comes to mind; and that’s Jeffrey Osbourne; a favourite of our in the 80’s who also had the musical ability to stop you in your tracks then make you want to dance and holler; which is quite some talent; and Devin B Thompson sounds like he’s cut from exactly the same cloth.
Released October 30th 2020
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