Friday, 5 April 2013

Nicole Willis & the Soul Investigators - Tortured Soul

Let's get this straight: Tortured Soul is not Keep Reachin' Up part 2. There aren't three songs on here that will be issued on 7" to satisfy the northern soul collectors' hunger. There are some uptempo cuts - Time To Get Business Straight and Break Free (Shake A Tail Feather) - are full of funk fire, but this album doesn't feature If This Ain't Love (Don't Know What Is).

There are precious few albums that wouldn't be improved by the inclusion of If This Ain't Love (Don't Know What Is). But that was 2005. Tortured Soul doesn't try to follow Keep Reachin' Up. It's a different - deeper, more quietly luxurious - experience. The influences - Irma Thomas' A Woman Will Do Wrong on On The East Side, James Carr on the stealthily soulful Best Days Of Our Lives, Bobby Byrd on the dirtily sumptuous It's All Because Of You - make Tortured Soul a richer album.

Tortured Soul didn't take 8 years to make, but it sounds like that much care went into it. It'll last many years longer.

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