Album Review: Ten City - Judgement

Mrshall Jefferson & Byron Stingily keep the positive spirit of Ten City alive with the group's first album in 25 years.
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Ten City (Marshall Jefferson & Byron Stingily)

Ten City (Marshall Jefferson & Byron Stingily)

Marshall Jefferson & Bryon Stingily are house music royalty. When you think of the house music originators and pioneers, these two have to be among the first names mentioned. Their solo careers have been pivotal to the development of the genre and together, they formed Ten City (which also included guitarist Herb Lawson and keyboardist Byron Burke), a group responsible for late 80’s house hits like “That’s The Way Love Is,” “Devotion” and “Right Back to You.” The group eventually disbanded in 1996 after four albums under their belts and numerous belters to match. Now 25 years later, Ten City is back with a new album Judgement that includes some new tracks and updated versions of some of those indelible classics.

Byron Stingily may not be as present in the music industry these days working as a principal at a school in Chicago, but his vocals still have the same force as his two former NFL-playing sons. Jefferson has continued his output over the past several decades and remains as fresh as ever with Ten City. 

There are several singles on the album recast into the modern era either with remixes, or updated masters. Judgement includes two remixes of “Devotion;” one from DJ Spen & Thommy Davis and the other from Marshall Jefferson. “That’s The Way Love Is” also finds its way onto the album with a more modern sheen on it without losing its original sparkle.

The rest provide a fresh look at new Ten City material that feels very necessary in 2021. The opening several tracks provide the soulful, emotional house music one should expect from Ten City. They don’t just rely on house ballads though. “Feel It Too” delivers some quick, filter piano house to turn things up on the record. The title track may be the most modern of the LP with a soft afrobeats groove underpinning the tune that is prime for summer.

Judgement ends with the hopeful and uplifting “Summer Of Love” for a declaration of what could be a new summer of love in many places in the world. Stingily shouts “sun is shining, people dancing… we need it, another of summer of love.” Yes we do, Byron.

Ten City is back and just in time for a new potential summer of love. Uplifting, positive and warm, Marshall Jefferson & Byron Stingily have channeled the best of Ten City’s legacy, brought it up to date and added a modern touch it. Pick up your copy of the album here via Ultra Records.

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