Published May 08, 2015Over the past seven years, the German-Danish production duo Cool Million (Frank Ryle and Rob Hardt) have been on a stated mission of "taking soul back to the future," and with their fourth offering, they've delivered a candidate for top party album of the summer. Sumthin' Like This refines the duo's irresistible update of early 1980s funk and boogie with a more organic sound (the majority of the 15 tracks feature a full brass section), and like all previous Cool Million releases, it showcases an impressive vocal lineup of newcomers and renowned, yet often unheralded soul artists.
The answer will undoubtedly be yes when soulful house vocalist Marc Evans asks "Dontcha Wanna Dance" on the effervescent track of the same name. "Tonight" (featuring a scintillating turn by former Modulations member Glenn Jones) and "Give It Up" (with up and comer Laura Jackson) are funky, feel-good, uptempo jams boasting sublimely cosmopolitan arrangements while long-M.I.A. Atlantic Starr vocalist Porter Caroll makes up for lost time on the terrific D Train homage "Oh!" The more laid back cuts are just as noteworthy; Tower Of Power's Michael Jeffries, for one, grooves on the balmy "Summer Breeze."
Besides the obvious devotion to their craft, what's truly commendable about Cool Million is the way the duo have provided a showcase for soul artists of the past. That sense of history is especially evident on the witty and touching "No Ordinary Music," about youngsters defying their parents and playing their forbidden vinyl, resulting in a multi-generational party. Sumthin' Like This is a must for lovers of the good groove and a best of the year contender. (SedSoul)