Spin Me Right 'Round: 'B-Funk' Is Where It's At

Friday, December 19, 2008

B-Funk is not that obscure smell that lingers in the kitchen after your roommate "cooks"...B-Funk is much more tolerant than that as it is the style of music off of Beverley Knight's 1995 debut, The B-Funk. The British vocalist scored critical acclaim for her first outing, as The B-Funk was regarded at the time of its release, the best British Soul album ever. Time has passed and Miss Knight has made a name for herself with more masterpieces in her music gallery (not to mention getting recognized by the Queen herself), but The B-Funk remains to be one of her most solid and engaging efforts. Most have compared Beverley to the likes of Mary J. Blige, and the similarity is there when hearing tracks such as the jubilant foot stomper, "Flavour Of The Old School" and the concrete funk of "Mutual Feeling". Still Beverley is on her own level with her lush yet powerful vocals that soar with each infectious tune she churns out. Beverley dips into sensual mode for a gorgeously arranged smoker called, "Remedy" and is a friend for life on the lovely Gospel tinged, "Cast All Your Cares". The stunner for me was the opening creep of "Movin' On Up (On The Right Side)" which has a grainy blend of Philly Soul into modern day R&B that is on par. Neo-soul also peeks through on The B-Funk as the smooth sailing of "Steppin' On My Shoes" wraps you in it's warm charm. Usually debut albums are spotty affairs that have an artist trying to find that certain slot that there style will fit into. Here, that is not the case, as Beverley barely misfires on her first go, and every time I take a listen to it, it sounds better with each push of the play button. There isn't any doubt that any true R&B lover will gobble this up with a spoon, as Beverley's debut is crafted to move and sooth the aching soul.

Rating: 9.5/10

Wow, the outfits...remember when hockey jerseys and college gear was the "in" thing? And what's with the knee pads...I wish I could get my hair to look as flipped as Beverley's does....those little girls are cute

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