I found this wonderful artist named Sule while evaluating a bunch of tracks for my Broadjam Pro Reviewer gig. At first, I was having a tough time deciding who would be the top five, until I heard "Duck And Cover." I kept listening and the more I heard the track the more I 'heard' and enjoyed it. After that, it was easy; Sule was my hands down winner.
Modern Times is a concept album in development and the 16 tracks I listened to on this CD are a sneak preview of what is to come some time this year. Sule told me probably by early summer we should see the finished product. Along with CD comes a comic book, set in modern times with all the trappings you find lurking in the street, just waiting to snatch every ounce of sanity you have left.
Sule is not a stranger to the street; you can hear it in his voice. When I chatted with him, I detected no Canadian accent but a New York one, which I thought was unusual. He called it a New York/Canadian accent with a twist, the twist being the street sensibility you hear all over the place in his music and story of Modern Times.
"Duck And Cover" is the most interesting track on the CD. There are five different versions, don't worry though its not overkill, each one stands on its own very well. Sule is well versed in exploring all the genres and he does it convincingly, not just with the five versions covering prog-rock, R & B, reggae, dance and trance, but some cool jazz for a hot day on tracks like "Spring On The Main," an instrumental diamond that changes the pace of the entire album. As soon as you feel nice and relaxed with that tune then "Sneakin'" comes at you with some funk, rap, street beats, and some nice piano to add some soothing elements to a song with an edge. The title track is a great R & B number that focuses on Sule's talent for singing. He vocalizes as if he was born to make this kind of music. "The Riot" has commentary by a radio announcer's voice to start things off to you make feel like you are right there experiencing the event, with the sound of the crowd in the background, all set to a reggae-jazz-funk groove. I love "Zero" as well, it rocks then steps back with some soft keyboards, and the guitar jumps right back in the saddle with rocking rhythms and that driving fuzz guitar sound backed by thumping bass.
What does it all boil down to? Well that is not an easy thing to explain when one artist covers so much ground. Think of The Brother's Johnson in the new millennium with hints of progressive rock, funk, reggae, and rhythm and blues, if that makes any sense, well I guess you have to hear it and make your own call. I can say one thing with assurance, I love this music, and it is refreshing to hear such variety from one artist.
There is a lot to this man and his music, much more than I covered. I am really looking forward to hearing the final mix down of this project and seeing how the comic book turns out.
01. Duck And Cover (4:13)
02. Dying For Love (4:51)
03. Modern Times (3:18)
04. Down Town (4:48)
05. Shelter (6:15)
06. Fight's On (3:19)
07. Protest (00:23)
08. Spring On The Main (4:38)
09. Sneakin' (3:46)
10. The Riot (2:04)
11. Zero (4:33)
12. Agony (3:23)
13. Duck and Cover R & B (4:16)
14. Duck and Cover (Dub Reggae) (5:36)
15. Duck and Cover (Dance) (6:01)
16. Duck and Cover (Trance) (5:15)