29 November 2014

Myles Sanko - Forever Dreaming

A little while ago, on a summer's night in August I was reading stuff on my laptop and found a post by one of my friend's; he was waxing lyrical about a gig he had just attended in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, for an up and coming R&B/Soul artist called Myles Sanko.  Whilst looking at a few photos he had took of the event, I thought I would check out the album/ep (it is an album for me) which was on Spotify called 'Born In Black & White' (Cleverly linked here).  I was floored by what I heard and did a review straight away, it was so refreshing to hear a singer that was making R&B/Soul music the way that it should be done and not making it sound like a computer game. I was also excited to hear that there was another release following shortly afterwards, but I will be honest it is until very recently that I have been able to release the album.  So with a little shame that I have been a little bit late once again, here is a review of 'Forever Dreaming'.

Starting off the album is the title track - "Forever Dreaming".  The tone is not as immediate as the opening of 'Born In Black & White', but it is a much more mature and soulful beginning to an album.  The song is about dreaming and various emotions attached to that - love, the person you love and other connotations to this romantic number.  This introduction to the album does not come out with all guns blazing, it starts with the power to woo the audience and that is sometimes the smarter move.  "Light In My Hand" has another slow and thought provoking start to it, it starts off all reflective and inwards; but the magic starts to shine through and the keys start to play and the bass pulses.  All the while Mr Sanko sings his song of love which is very powerful indeed.  The man is in love and he is not sure if it is going to be recuperated by the flame of his desires, it is another take on the world’s oldest theme but it sounds brilliant as it builds towards a brilliant ending as the brass section is introduced to the number.  "Shooting Star" is another number that shows the change from the first release to this record, it is another more mature number about free falling towards the person that you love.  It is very measured and not as wild as some of the songs from 'Born In Black & White', but it feels as if it knows how to get the soul moving in a different way.  The classic feeling of the song is so good, it is also so retro as well; I love that sort of sound and tone, it appeals to me in many way and keeps up the wonder pace of the album so far.

"My Inspiration" is the fourth track of the album, starting with a lounge laid back style that would make Mr Chaney lose his mind when he hears this.  It is all chilled and relaxed, the lyrics about seeing an inspirational person is very charming; but that has to be backed up with a performance that matches those intentions.  Lucky, Mr Sanko has a voice that will be able to deliver a stunning performance.  It is not a shouting or strained performance, it is measured and refined, just a gentle and beautiful tune.  "So Much Indeed" is the fifth track; this is probably the weakest song on the record if I am honest.  Whilst the performance is the same high quality, it is still the song on the record which for whatever reason does not reach the levels on the record.  It is a good tune, but not the best of tunes.  After this is the short interlude called "Lonely Dreamers" which is a beautiful instrumental that could have been extended to be honest.  But it does make way for the fun filled "To My Surprise", I think it is the first song with a flute solo this year that has made me smile.  It is full of joyful exuberance that makes this sphere a much warmer place, even in the middle of winter.  Like a shaft of sunlight, it brightens the day and is the stand up track of the album.

"Save My Soul" starts off with a thumping bass line which has the brass section and flute floating over it, this song is a plea for help and asking for the singer to be taken away from his current life to anywhere else.  It is another brilliant performance from the soul man, much in the line of Sam & Dave; it is a great number from Mr Sanko & Co and it keeps the energy flowing.  "Take A Look At Me Now" is a much lighter number than "Save My Soul", but the music is once again stunning.  This soul number would have been given a blues treatment by the Blues Brothers if they were still around.  It just showcases the backing band as much as it does Mr Sanko himself.  Whoever is in his backing band on this album, they are on fire and this album is another high point in this record.  After this is "Where We Need To Be" which is a quiet ending to the main section of the album.  A piano number with light percussion and gentle guitars, this song of friendship and hope is a number that is really pleasant, but to end the album?  It is a strange song to end this record on, as nice a song as it is it would have been better to end with "Take A Look At Me Now".  The track which actually ends the album is an instrumental version of "To My Surprise" - a great piece of music, but strange to add to the end of the record.

This album is a really good record over all; it has that style which many artists should follow.  It does not have any modern effects on it, it just keeps the tone sound, the mix is perfect and for the best part of the record it is a great soul/old school R&B number.  The ending of the album does cost it a mark as it just fizzles out with a strange ending that is "Where We Need To Be". I do not know if that was a personal thing or dictated by the producer or record label.  But it was the wrong choice for me; never the less, it is still a hugely positive album and people need to check this guy out.  He is truly someone to keep an eye on.

8 out of ten - Oh, now you have my attention and maybe my money, time and heart

Top track - To My Surprise

You can purchase the album from Amazon here

You can visit the Myles Sanko website here (which has a webstore so you can purchase the album directly from Mr Sanko)

You can also purchase the album from the Bandcamp page of record label - Légère Recordings

You can listen to the album on Spotify here

For our Deezer users, here is a link to the album here

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