Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Soul vs. R&B

I’ve been listening to a lot of soul lately, and it’s reminded me of how far contemporary R&B and “neo-soul” is from soul music of the ‘60s and ‘70s. Not that I quite expect it to be the same, or even similar, but even my favorite singers, like D’Angelo, Raphael Saadiq/Tony! Toni! Toné!, and Anthony Hamilton can’t come close to the likes of Donny Hathaway or Marvin Gaye. Maybe these comparisons aren’t quite fair, but what ever happened to the “soul” of soul music? Is it me, or does it seem like today’s music lacks the emotional intensity and “soul” of the past?

That said, here’s a couple songs by William Bell. I actually hadn’t heard of him until fairly recently, but as soon as I heard the opening guitar licks of “I Forgot to be Your Lover,” I’ve been hooked. I think part of the reason today’s R&B and neo-soul doesn’t stand up to that of the past is because contemporary musical arrangements lack the lush, sweeping arrangements that carries the listener through the ups and downs that are the hallmark of soul music. With that in mind, I decided to post up a couple William Bell songs as a reminder that soul artists were often not only great singers, but great composers as well (another element lacking in contemporary R&B). Ok, I think I’m done with my ranting (for now), hope you enjoy these tracks.

[MP3] William Bell :: I Forgot to be Your Lover
[MP3] William Bell :: Strung Out (feat. Mavis Staples)

P.S. I first heard “I Forgot to be Your Lover” on the Soul Sides compilation, which is available here. Absolutely my favorite compilation. The music is rare enough for the casual or even more serious listener, yet still very accessible for any fan.

|bruce banner|


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kanye West?

12:20 PM  
Blogger bruce banner said...

yep, u know on what song too?

12:39 PM  
Blogger bozakk said...

bruce bannner! you exposed!

1:03 PM  

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