Soulive No Place Like Soul

No Place Like Soul is Soulive’s first album as a quartet and the inaugural release on the newly resurrected Stax label. Despite some guest appearances from the likes of Chaka Khan and Ivan Neville on 2005’s Breakout, Soulive are best known as an outstanding funk-inflected instrumental unit. No Place Like Soul features the debut of lead vocalist Toussaint, who has added a new dimension to the organic, funkified interplay between bassist/guitarist Eric Krasno and brothers Neal and Alex Evans on keys and drums, respectively. "Don’t Tell Me” is a wickedly tight groover highlighted by a Roger Troutman-esque talk box while "Mary” is a meditative piece of streetwise soul with introspective lyrics and standout vocals from Toussaint. The best track here is the jaunty, uplifting "Comfort,” which pays tribute to yesterday’s soul legends while also affirming Soulive’s positive vibe. It’s not on par with Carla, Otis or the Bar-Kays but No Place Like Soul is a pretty damn good album in its own right. (Stax/Concord)