Published Feb 03, 2016Soul Inscribed are a New York-based four-piece, and as the press release for their eponymous debut album proclaims, they're "your parent's record collection remixed." Indeed, we're not two cuts deep before MC Baba Israel boldly name-checks Sly Stone, James Brown, Nina Simone and Gil Scott-Heron. So the question is: Have Israel, vocalist Duv, saxophonist/flautist Sean Nowell and producer/guitarist Yako 440 crafted an effort that hangs nicely with the lofty legacy of Sly, James and co.?
The answer is not quite, but these cats can definitely spark a groove. "Soul Inscribed," "Let's Get Higher" and "Soul Shine" are fluid fusions of boom-bap and reflect the troupe's impressive, jazz-inspired instrumental prowess, yet it's with the more atmospheric "No Word For Love" and the poignant closer "Fatherhood," with Duv's smooth-as-silk vocals and Israel's urgent flow making an especially inspired combination, that Soul Inscribe makes its mark. While some of the beat box interludes could have been trimmed (each member is an impressive, though), Soul Inscribed is an encouraging debut of hip-hop inspired soul. (Independent)