Album: Beverley Knight, Soul UK (Hurricane)

Click to follow
The Independent Culture

Beverley Knight's survey of British soul highlights from the 1980s reminds one of what an underrated era that was, too easily overlooked in deference to the genre's US roots. Comparisons are inevitable – and if "Southern Freeez" here sounds like Britain's own "Funky Nassau", there's no shame in that, nor in Knight's version of Junior Giscombe's "Mama Used to Say" coming across like the UK equivalent of a Jam & Lewis casual funk strut.

She's on fine, sleek form on Omar's "There's Nothing Like This" and George Michael's "One More Try", and inhabiting the Young Disciples' "Apparently Nothin'" with the warmth and assertive charm of a long-time fan: the latter, with Roots Manuva adding a rap about the corrosive effect of "the vanity glamour of the most influential", is the album's standout cut.

DOWNLOAD THIS Apparently Nothin'; One More Try; Cuddly Toy