Connie Price & The Keystones Tell Me Something

Connie Price & The Keystones Tell Me Something
After finding success as a live backing band for legendary MCs Slick Rick, Brand Nubian and Too Short on recent touring stints, L.A.’s Connie Prince and the Keystones have carried that newfound vocal aesthetic to the studio and returned with a well-balanced sophomore set in Tell Me Something. Guided by a competent stable of lyrical orators, including Jurassic 5’s Soup, Ohmega Watts, Big Daddy Kane and Percee P, among others, Price and company manage an impressive blend of orchestral soul and dynamic funk soundscapes driven by punctuating hip-hop rhythms, with grooves that give the MCs room to roam while keeping each decidedly in check. Cuts like the richly nuanced "Masters At Work” and "Highlife,” with its mildly sinister tone, show the marriage at its best, the latter accented perfectly by Mykah 9’s unique, half-sung flow. Beneath this, the moody mix of ever-shifting horn turns, keyed strings and guitar licks that bolster both tracks reveal an instrumental sense that never feels dumbed down or compromised, a rare feat for an accomplished band foraying into the often restrictive world of hip-hop. (Ubiquity)