Records: Conner Reeves Earthbound (Wildstar CDWILD3)

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Indy Lifestyle Online
If Lewis Taylor is the British Marvin Gaye, as some have claimed, then Conner Reeves must be our Stevie Wonder and Lionel Richie rolled into one. Earthbound presents a blue-eyed soul singer of remarkable abilities, not least of which is a gift for writing songs which, like the closing track, "Ordinary People", already sound like standards.

Reeves and his producer Grant Mitchell are intimately familiar with every wrinkle of their genre, turning their hands with equal facility to swingbeat, mild funk, gospel pleading and political soul. They're also clearly au fait with the demands of American radio formats, judging by the inclusion of an anthemic feel-good number, "We are the Wave", which sounds tailor-made for the "quiet storm" soft-soul station of that name. Not that such tactics are really necessary, given an abundance of classy tracks such as the Wonder-esque "Read my Mind" and the hit single "My Father's Son". Next year's Jamiroquai, without the funny hat.