It’s been a while since The Brand New Heavies have given us a new album to get our ears around. We are very pleased to say that the wait has been worth it. We’ve given this album more than a few spins since we received it and what we like about it is that the Brand New Heavies have stuck to their own sound and have created a melting pot of songs that is full of tracks that are undoubtedly the unique sound of the Brand New Heavies. They have stuck to what they are best at and they have presented us with another album full of up-beat, funky and classic numbers.
The album opens up with the instrumental title track Forward. This is an uplifting track, powered with lots of fast funk notes and it has some quirky moments. Sunshine was wisely chosen as a single release from the album and it is such a cool track, with a gorgeous piano driven opening, which builds atmosphere and tension as the song progresses along to the 30 second mark, before their famous funk takes a hold of the track! N’Dea gives a very soulful and a strong vocal performance on Sunshine and the song almost sounds a bit like Gloria Gaynor’s I Will Survive at times, as it has that girl-power don’t-mess-with-me anthem sound to it.
On The One is a strong song, which sounds a bit Daft-Punk-ish at times, showing that they are capable of creating songs that are able to keep up with their contemporaries and there are some lovely layering of vocals in the song. This is a nice surprise and we think that it would have been nice if we had a few more of songs like this on the album, with a more of a modern day and current feel to them. A Little Funk In Your Pocket has some great moments and has a lazy, hazy, sunny, smouldering and relaxing jazzy vibe to it. This is the perfect song to unwind to after a long day at the office and it’s one of our favourites on the album! Lifestyle has a mellow sound and the spoken intro that is a little different feel to the other tracks on the album, although the lyrics are not the strongest on the album, but the sound is as gorgeous as ever.One More For The Road is a great title for the last song on the album and a lovely, soothing soulful closer to the album.
There’s not a lot to fault with this album, as it is another fine release from the Brand New Heavies and it actually sounds as though they have never been away. The album has many classy instrumentals and given that they share lead vocals, it adds another dimension to their sound that you never tire of hearing.
Although the album is full of some wonderful songs, whether or not the current record buying public, as in the younger generation of music buying fans will buy the album is another matter, simply because the songs are very much in the 80’s/90’s mould. However, we feel that this is a fine return from the Brand New Heavies and their long-time fans (of which they have thousands and thousand of) are going to adore the album. The Brand New Heavies don’t follow fads or trends and this album is a testament to themselves as a band for that and their fans are going to continue to love them for it and with fourteen tracks on the album, the album also offers great value for money.