Album: Incarnations, With All Due Respect (Lovemonk)

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The Independent Culture

Retro-soul trio Incarnations talk a good game - their press release namechecks Steely Dan, CSNY, Doobies, Stylistics and Delfonics - but this debut album lacks the most essential prerequisite, a batch of killer songs.

It's no surprise to learn that these nine pieces were whipped together from "half-songs, grooves and melodies", the pedestrian featherlight soul of tracks like "I Didn't Know" and "Meet Me At Midnight" involving little more than the routine shuffling of cliches whose lack of sincere emotion is blindingly transparent. So while the conga-peppered opener "Make You Mine" resembles a cross between CSNY and Sergio Mendes, it has zero impact. There's a pleasant Spanish tinge to "Up From The Ground", but everything is too neat and well-manicured to snag one's attention; and there's a glaring lack of a voice as compelling as Michael McDonald's or as characterful as Donald Fagen's.

Download this: Make You Mine; Up From The Ground