Soul-soothing and bone-shattering groove from experienced scenesters who flesh out their simpatico numbers with lushly orchestrated tension.
Here’s a case of title saying it all yet withholding its gist. Bass and voice are basically the only things this album’s titular genre needs to deliver a punch and a message, and that’s what Freddy Villano and Danielle Gorre – of, respectively, AMERICAN MAFIA and KONOGORRE renown – serve in spades on their debut as a unit. Still, being a fingerpopping effort, “Eminience Funk” can offer much more in terms of emotional depth, especially after repeated spins which will take the duo’s songs, wrapped in ensemble arrangements, beyond purely rhythmic escapades.
There’s a catch, though. While it’s always invigorating to hear an opening salvo full of optimism – as opposed to call to action – when top lines follow, rather than complement, four-string riffs, the flow may feel a bit flat, but the organ-fueled “It’s All Right” sets the scintillating bar high, providing the rest of the cuts with a smooth roll. More so, for all the cosmic jive on display, the band’s melodic narrative is rooted in trad blues, as stressed by “Funky Attitude” where Randy Pratt‘s harmonica licks spice up the almost sparse drift and contrast the muscular acrobatics on “Just A Little Secret” and “Mother Earth” that’s propelled from personal delight towards universal glee, thanks to the infectious interplay between synthesizers and guitar.
If “Salvation” has its silky balladry misplaced in such a context, the respite this piano-sprinkled piece proposes – despite a purr and a slap, and another use of the “hell” metaphor – should be most welcome, before “Right On Time” elevates the players’ spirituality to find a calm in the album’s storm. Yet it’s the folk march of “Look Beyond The Color” that’s the unexpected pinnacle here, Celtic tincture and chant rendering the number simply irresistible and preparing the listener for the final imperative of the record’s brass-splashed title track whose vocal front is mesmeric to say the least. A promising start, “Eminence Funk” might develop into something delicious further on down the road.