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Gregory Porter – Take Me to the Alley album review

A truly great collection of beautifully written songs.

Gregory Porter
Credit: Decca
Gregory Porter

Credit: Decca

Take me to the Alley is Gregory Porter’s follow-up album to his Platinum-selling Liquid Spirit, which became the most streamed jazz album of all time. His breakout from the jazz world connected him to a larger audience and the album sold a million records worldwide. This is something of a unique feat. He has a unique ability to bridge fans from all styles of music and he is someone who you would call a musician’s musician, the real deal. Porter was asked to be the guest vocalist on electronic duo Disclosure’s lead single Holding On from their 2015 album Caracal. He will be performing at the Glastonbury Festival next month and we imagine that he’ll gain another army of followers from his performance there. Porter said of the album: “With this record I continue to condense life experience into melody and most of all put love in the air. Very excited to share the music with my fans or anyone within the sound of my heart”

A nice little piano intro welcomes us in to the first song on the album in Holding On and for the first time, it can be heard in its original form. After a few seconds, you can hear Gregory’s soulful and luscious voice wrap themselves around some wistful lyrics. It is a beautiful song, which actually sounds like something classic from years gone by, the original soul piano balled became Disclosure’s run away dance hit of last year. Don’t Lose Your Steam is up next, which opens with a striking belt, full of old school charm and warmth – this will be the first single release from the album. The title track – Take Me to the Alley is another beautifully written song, it’s just another warm and soothing track, his voice is on fine form on this track again. Day Dream is a slow, silky jazz number, one of those gently songs that you have in the background to sooth your soul.

Song after song, this classy album delivers. Full of beautiful piano moments, romantic lyrics, and one of the most beautiful, husky and soulful voices I’ve heard in a long time. A genuine talent. More Than a Woman, Insanity and Don’t Be a Fool flow one after another. The mellow tones and soothing vibe is just gorgeous. Jazz can always be a tricky bridge to gap and song after song you just think – yep, that’s another beauty.

The album is one of those that you can listen to once and instantly fall in love with, of course you’ll want to play it again and again. And again. This really is a unique and beautiful album and I have loved listening to his soothing voice, which reminds me of legendary artists from years gone by. Gregory is an incredible artist and we look forward to hearing him live.

Track Listing: Holding On 2. Don’t Lose Your Steam 3. Take Me To The Alley 4. Day Dream 5. Consequence of Love 6. In Fashion 7. More Than a Woman 8. In Heaven 9. Insanity 10. Don’t Be a Fool 11. Fan the Flames Record Company: Decca Records Release Date: 6th May 2016

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