Culture Clash (Review 2)

Beat June 25 1997

It's hard to say if blues devotees will go for this superb mix of blues and classical music put together by the man called the Brave. The superb photo on the slick shows a solemn black woman holding a cello and the blue mood on her face really typifies the ambience of this music. Where she is beautiful and solemn so, too, is the music. I should point out that the album is also sponsored by the Rhythm and Blues Foundation whose aim it is to preserve the original tenets of R&B. If you like Little Axe's last album Slow Fuse, you're bound to fall in love with this set. The album has a paranoiac feel to it. The sound is big and spacious as attested by the bluesy title track. Lay Down reminds me of Little Axe with its slow, burning atmosphere.

Legends, which I believe is used in jeans commercials in the U.K. and South America, is eerie and spectacular with a distant voice giving a blues roll call before some nice, stinging slide guitar. And according to the biographical material, John Lee Hooker's Slow and Easy, which uses the veteran's deep voice, was taken from archives. For integrity, soul and atmospher(e) Culture Clash might well be the album of the year.

Reproduced without permission from Beat Magazine (Issue 558) for private and research purposes only.

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