Shane Philips Everybody

Montreal-based soul singer-songwriter Shane Philips cites greats Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye and Donny Hathaway as major influences of his work, and it shows in Everybody. The follow-up to his mildly received 2000 debut SuperFly, Philips has stepped up his game, both in terms of production values and unique vocal ability. Philips has a hand in every track on the project and the labour of love shows. Recording for Montreal’s Mile End Records, Philips keeps the arrangements simple yet potent and the live instrumentation is as taut as it is tantalising. The majority of the tracks carry the same thematic vibe — deciding whether this is a bonus or too much of a good thing is open for debate. Obvious Hammond gospel and retro soul influences abound, standouts include the groovy "You’re The Only One,” the churchy "In the Meantime” and the funky title track. (Comedy Central/Paramount)