Most helpful positive review
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Gets better with each listen!
on October 15, 2009
Like many other fans I chanced upon this group listening on our local smooth jazz outlet. I caught a radio show airing the complete "Nocturnal" album soon after its debut in 2000. I was hooked, and I've purchased each new Four80East offering as it's become available.
I agree with a previous reviewer in that the first track seems out of place among the others, but only in respect to the musical mood it creates. It's playful as opposed to the much more serious aspect of the other nine selections. Nevertheless, it's enjoyable, with a bouncy 70's Kool & the Gang feel suggested by the album cover art. The second track "Loosey Goosey" appears to tell the listener, enough fun & games, time to buckle down and get to work to a funky-cool walking bass line. The third track has a bit of a "live" feel to it initially with an audience clapping and cheering while the song gets underway. Any fan of Level 42's early music will truly enjoy this song; along with Nocturnal's "On the Strip" and En Route's title track, it could have been lifted whole and breathing from an early 80's Level 42 session. "Just Passing Through" is a straight-out chill piece, laid-back, ultra-smooth and relaxing, with a touch of vintage Crusaders. "Shot in the Dark" cranks it up a bit with a gutsier, grittier sound. For some reason this song reminds me of an urban remake of "Starsky & Hutch" as it were, which could star Laurence Fishburn and Wesley Snipes as the kick-ass detectives (and Cedric the Entertainer as Huggy Bear). "After All This Time" is a great road tune, an attribute of much of Four80East's music, and segues well into "Race to the Moon", hands-down the hippest song on the album. This song would make a great soundtrack to an in-car camera during a full-bore race around Daytona Speedway, with a relentless driving bass beat. I dare anyone to listen to this song and not end up tapping their feet or fingers. "While the City Sleeps" slows things back down a bit, a very aptly named song, perfect for listening to at night, with the top down, driving home from a night out, complete with a minor-key bridge 2/3 of the way through the song symbolizing apprehension as you spot a patrol car racing up behind you, lights flashing, followed by relief as he speeds by after someone else. "Never the Same Way Twice" builds a bit slow, and raises the adrenaline once more with a fast-paced effort, as if you've just realized you have one hour instead of three to get to the airport, and the frantic rush through traffic that ensues. The album concludes with "Back in 5", a prototypical Four80East slick and polished recording, quite evocative of "Ocean's 11" soundtrack music.
I'm no musical expert, but I do believe that one purpose of music is to allow listeners to form mental images of what they feel the music represents, much like the words an author uses in a book are designed to create a particular setting or situation or character development. Four80East has an addictively listenable sound, creating the aural equivalent of beta endorphins to their growing circle of aficionados.
One last item - this is not a paid suggestion, but I would recommend that if possible, download the mp3 version of this album. It costs less, there's no wait for mail, no shipping costs, and downloaded songs are crisp and clean and easily burnable onto a blank CD.