SoulCuts Advent Calendar – All Good Things in Time…

29 12 2010

Apologies for the lack of content over the past couple of weeks, but it’s Christmas, for gawd’s sake and I’ve been trying to drink my way out of a vat of brown booze for the past couple of weeks. My head’s just above the frothy top now, giving me the opportunity to tip-tap this last entry in the much-loved and little-read SoulCuts Advent Calendar. And it just had to be The Whispers with their funk/disco evergreen Funky Christmas. Mrs SoulCuts adores this track and has even been known to ask for a ‘rewind’ just so she can get her jingle bells on! And before you ask, that ain’t a euphemism!

‘Though it’s been said many times, many ways, Merry Christmas SoulCutters. Big Love!


SoulCuts Advent Calendar – Day 16 – C Robert Walker – On This Day

16 12 2010

From the marvellous Christmas at Sedsoul album comes my standout cut, C Robert Walker’s On This Day. Santa SoulCuts likes to listen to this one late at night with a drop of the good stuff and a crackling fire for company, contemplating the meaning of yuletide before falling blissfully asleep. The track kicks off with some Take 6 styled harmonies before dropping into a sweet midtempo groove, somewhat reminiscent of those classy productions Ray Hayden did back in the nineties, namely Martine Girault’s Revival. No bad thing!

We recently caught up with Rob Hardt, the jolly mastermind behind the album, and asked him about C Robert Walker,

He’s a good friend of mine, we’ve been working together on and off for ten years. He’s a Nu Yurican guy who now lives in Belgium. For ten years he’s been part of a Platters tribute act, and for the past year working as a singer for Ottawan (D-I-S-C-O).
Originally we were going to do just one track, but we ended up doing three in a day. He has a classic, new but old soul voice. Great to work with.

C Robert Walker features on three of the album’s stand-out cuts, A Thousand Kisses At Christmas, On This Day and an intriguing take on the evergreen This Christmas which gives Donny’s classic a twist of Sexual Healing. But it’s On This Day that shines brightest for me, a reflective groove that’s destined to become a perennial for many Christmases to come. Take a listen below:

Nice, yeah? Head on over to to listen to the rest of the album. Lovely stuff!

SoulCuts Advent Calendar – Day 15 – Salsoul Orchestra – You’re All I Want For Christmas

15 12 2010

What’s a Christmas party without a little disco? How about some Salsoul? Yes please, I hear you cry, shaking your jingle bells. Salsoul records released some of the greatest disco of the classic era with a dream line-up that included Instant Funk, Loleatta Holloway, Jocelyn Brown, Double Exposure, First Choice, Joe Bataan, the Salsoul Orchestra, Inner Life and Skyy. It’s a lush, string laden sound that will never be repeated.

You’re All I Want for Christmas is a joyous slice of soulful disco from the superbly titled Christmas Jollies II. Produced by the legendary Patrick Adams, with the unmistakable Jocelyn Brown on vocals, it’s one of those cuts that sounds fabulous whatever the season. Ho! Ho! Ho!

SoulCuts Advent Calendar Day 14 – Mariah Carey – When Christmas Comes

14 12 2010

What’s this? Mariah on SoulCuts? R Kelly last week? What’s next? P-Diddy week (I ask you, Diddy-Dirty-Money)? A feature on the new Akon album (I believe the cover has him squeezing out a dump on MJ’s grave, yelping in his ‘trademark’ voice)? A 2-Live Crew retrospective? Leona Lewis?

OK, maybe that’s going too far. I apologize. I have to admit that I’m not much of a Mariah fan and find the different personalities (Diva? Fly-girl? Butterfly?) all a tad confusing. However, Mrs SoulCuts loves her some of that famous Mariah Christmas track. You know the one. But, we’re not going to feature that. Just tune into any commercial radio station, it’ll turn up soon enough. We’ve got a great new SOULFUL track she co-wrote with James Poyser for her recent Christmas album.

When Christmas Comes is a bonafide festive soul scorcher that’s so much better than I would have expected from good old Mimi (hehe, Mimi, indeed!). No Akon log in sight! Get the fire on and unwrap that Christmas thong, as Barry White would say if he were still alive to grace us with a new yuletide cut.

Ho! Ho! Ho!

SoulCuts Advent Calendar Day 13 – DJ Jazzy Jeff & Ayah – Xmas Time

13 12 2010

And so another riff on Charlie Brown’s Christmas Time is Here! Jazzy Jeff & Ayah’s Xmas Time is a fantastic, sophisticated slice of contemporary soul that just happens to be centred on the Christmas theme. The Philly maestro (aided on production chores by James Poyser and Demien DeSandies) certainly delivers on this ultra dope cut that swings just the right side of melancholia aided by a hypnotic and soulful vocal performance by Ayah. Inspired by the timeless Christmas songs delivered by greats such as Donny and The Temps, Jeff wanted to create a vibe matching those old classics. Xmas Time is an undoubtedly classy track and possibly the most accomplished of the 2010 season, haunting and celebratory at once. Take a listen to the track below and hop on over to Jazzy Jeff’s own website for a free download. Now, that’s the spirit!

Oh, Jeff and Aya are also working on an album, giving us something to look forward to in the New Year too! Remember, good music just ain’t for Christmas! Ho! Ho! Ho!

SoulCuts Advent Calendar – Day 12 – Alexander O’ Neal – My Gift To You

13 12 2010

Alex O’ Neal’s My Gift to You is one of the greatest Christmas albums of all time. Produced by Jam & Lewis at the height of their powers, it’s an absolute belter from start to finish. We’ll be featuring at least two cuts as part of the calendar, the first of them being the title track. I’ve been playing this album pretty much every year for the past twenty and have to state that it never gets tired. Stuffed full of original tracks, it’s a timeless collection that’ll provide the perfect soundtrack to your Christmas party.

SoulCuts Advent Calendar – Day 11 – R Kelly – Love Letter (Christmas Remix)

11 12 2010

R Kelly’s last album, the imaginatively named Untitled, was probably a career worst for the controversial R&B cat. Its tired production and juvenile lyrics sounded so leaden you’d have sworn Kells phoned it in during a horny sleep. I wrote a scathing review, ripping the piss out of the album and poking fun at the self-styled Pied Piper, but kept it to myself. In the past, Kells had disappointed me via those woeful hiphop collaboration albums, the Celine Dion tracks etc. However, the enigmatic Robert Kelly has made it an integral part of his career trajectory to throw the music-loving public a few curve balls over the years. It seems that every few years I write R Kelly off and then he drops a few world-class soul cuts, putting me in my place and bemusing me in equal measure.

The first cut off the upcoming Love Letter, When a Woman Loves, failed to move me too deeply, sounding like the Pied Piper was trying too hard to ape that commercial ‘retro’ sound. However, when the stepper Love Letter dropped, I realised that he’d turned me around again! After listening to a number of tracks off the upcoming album, I think it’s fair to say that the Kells soul fans appreciate is back with an album that’s much better than we could have expected. And, to SoulCuts great pleasure, R decided to drop an addictive Christmas remix of the Love Letter cut, just in time to be part of the inaugural SoulCuts Advent Calendar. Check it out!

Merry Christmas from the Chocolate Factory, indeed!

Love Letter drops officially next week. I may share the review this time!!!!