review = A
Ladies love Soulive. After all, the rhythm and groove trio oozes style. Jackets, ties, GQ haircuts - you get the idea. But Soulive's appeal isn't just about natty attire. It's about irresistible music. And that's exactly the something Soulive is doin' on, -doin' something-, their Blue Note Records debut. Guitarist Eric Krasno is a riff poppin', strum slippin' fret pimp, shamelessly flashing just enough audiodermis to seduce the mind's ear into submission. Forget style, Krasno is pure substance. Same with brothers Neal (keyboard) and Alan Evans (drums). These guys look sharp because they are sharp, not the other way around. Playing jazzy R&B with understated soul and edgy sophistication, Soulive lays down sexy back beats that get you loose and freaky without the brain numbing hangover of 'bottle in front of me/frontal lobotomy' funk, or the abstract, overly intellectual meanderings glutting the current jamjazz scene. Although they really don't need help, trombonist and horn chart guru Fred Wesley of James Brown fame, leads a four piece brass section on a few of the tracks, and super sultry vocalist, Stephanie McKay, breathes life into 'Romantic,' a classy tune and the album's only lyrical offering. Sure, ladies love Soulive, but as long as they are -doin' something- this good, guys are going to dig their music too.