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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Blue Soul Ten

This is Worth It

Review by Gary Hill

Blue Soul Ten might sound like the name of a group, but it's actually the name of one man. This new album delivers some cool music. It's largely soul and jazz based, but it also has hip hop and EDM elements at play. Everything here works well, but it does have a tendency to get a little samey at times. Of course, that's more pronounced when you listen intently, as I do to review an album. More casually listening will likely have different results. Besides, not that many people listen to a whole disc from start to finish these days.

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Track by Track Review
All We Need

Percussive elements bring this into being. As the voices and other music join it takes on a real soul meets hip hop meets jazz vibe. It's classy stuff. It feels both classic and modern.

Different Than I'm Used To
The jazz and soul elements are in full control here. This track is such a classy slice of sonic magic. The opener had some elements that felt a little awkward. This doesn't suffer from that at all. It is smooth as silk.
You Should Know By Now
While the basic groove and mix isn't changed much here, there is a big difference. The lead vocals on the previous two numbers were of the female variety. We get male lead and backing vocals on this thing. There is a real timeless quality to this tune.
Up to You
Another cut from quite similar cloth, we're back in the female vocal zone. This is another strong tune, but there is a certain monolithic vibe that's beginning to show up at this point.
I'm Afraid I Might
I really like this groove a lot. The organ sound on it is classic. The vocals deliver a lot of style. This is still cut from much the same formula, but it's elevated on this tune.
No Love Greater
Now, this features more hip hop like vocals of the female variety. I love the bass work on this. The more stripped back, but quite percussive, arrangement is classy. So is the change this brings. I really love the horns when the cut turns toward a more powered up and soaring excursion later. This is one of the strongest songs here.
This is Worth It
Male vocals are in command on this tune. I dig the funky grooves on this a lot. They manage to shake things up a bit here for sure. That makes this a standout. Then again, you expect that of title tracks.
This one comes in more along the lines of the opening song of the set. It has plenty of jazzy elements, but it's also well-rooted in hip hop.
I dig this cut a lot, too. It has a hip hop meets soul arrangement, and it's very cool.
Like I Do
The smooth soulful groove on this is tasty, but the formula is starting to wear thin again.
Loving Me
Now the jazz elements really elevate this song. Then again, the vocal performance, the hooks and everything else serve to make this a standout.
You Are
In some ways this is a bit samey, but as it drifts into a more powered up jazzy arrangement later it really stands tall. The classy soul vibe of the tune works pretty well.
Blue Theme
I love the great jazz groove to this. It's a classy instrumental that does a good job of taking the set out in style.
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