Faze Action "Broad Souls" (Bar De Lune)

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Arising from the ruble of London’s fallen Nuphonic Records, Faze Action (aka brothers Simon and Robin Lee) return with their first new studio album in five years and a new label. Eschewing most references to the distinctive Afro-Brazilian, nu-disco mid-tempo grooves that defined 1995’s Original Disco Motion EP, 1997’s masterful Plans And Designs and their classic 1999 full-length Moving Cities, Broad Souls finds the duo pursuing windswept folk musings, blues and neo psychedelic soul-rock fusion. Reflecting influences from acts like Return To Forever, Rotary Connection feat. Minnie Riperton (who originally recorded “I Am The Black Gold Of The Sun”) and Terry Callier, the siblings have sculpted a meditative collection draped in heartbreaking grandeur Highlights include the apocalyptic opener “We Don’t Know How” (featuring the baritone growl of vocalist Andre Espeut, who sounds like “thin white duke” era Bowie),” the soothing jazzy soul “Three Foot High,” the riveting and maudlin “God Inside,” “Walking Time” (which hints at the dub-inflected soundscapes the group is most well-known for) and the undulating pastoral rhythms of “Vigilante Song.” Unfortunately the rest of the album fails to match these heights, sounding more like a coffee table derivative of Zero 7, 4 Hero and Paul Weller. However, despite the lack of Faze Action’s trademark signatures, Broad Souls does present at a new blueprint for the group to continually expand upon.

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