The debut release from up-and-coming soul singer Curtis Harding is a considered affair, so much so it almost seems to err on the side of caution. Soul music is, more so than many other styles, about a feel as opposed to a specific sound, and while Harding has it, he’s not really letting it soar on Soul Power.
But then, perhaps that’s how he feels soul. Musically, the album is immaculate – rolling bass, jiggling guitar (most courtesy of Harding himself), reverb-soaked vocals, wreathed in that faded brassy sound. You just get the sense though, that Harding is concentrating more on how it all comes across, as opposed to just following the feeling.
He adds a bit of grit with the dirty ‘Drive My Car’ and the bluesy ‘Castaway’, but then loses steam with the more-disco-than-soul ‘Heaven’s On The Other Side’. This is good soul music, but I get the impression Harding has far more in him than he offers here – I look forward to his next release, once he feels more comfortable letting it all hang out.
Samuel J. Fell