Sault - Untitled (Black Is)Forever Living Originals
You know you're onto something when you release two lps with little fanfare and yet they become instant underground hits. That's what happened to the group known as Sault. Producer Dean "Inflo" Wynton Josiah and songstress Cleo Sol have made quite the impression not only with their first two lps "5" and "7" but separate careers as well. Inflo has produced for Michael Kiwanuka and Little Simz. Sol has recently released her solo album, which is also produced by Inflo. While the first two lps had a soulful dance appeal, their third lp "Untitled (Black Is)" is stripped down unabashed soul at its best. The theme of the disc is Black pride and whether it's poignant interludes from Sol or the powerful compositions throughout the message shines loud and clear. "Hard Life" has an unrelenting drum snare beat that finds Sol singing about the struggle to be heard and that a change is coming. "Bow" is percolating with afrobeat rhythms and the additional vocals of Michael Kiwanuka. "Miracles" is classic emotive 70s soul at it's purest form. With Sol's seductive vocals supported by enchanting backup vocals, you've been lured into the belly of the recording and your only wish is that it doesn't end. Inflo's prodcution and arrangements are flawless. Each track flows to the next one and by the time you've reached the end you know you just got off an amazing ride. In a year filled with outstanding recordings, "Untitled (Black IS)" is without a doubt one of the best albums of the year. Given all that's happening around the world it couldn't have arrived at a better time.
Reg Dancy, 07/20