Tanya Morgan Rubber Souls

Tanya Morgan Rubber Souls
8
It's been a couple of years now since Tanya Morgan members Donwill and Von Pea returned from a pair of praise-earning solo ventures one man down, though no less ambitious, following the amicable departure of Ilyas from the group. That slight dynamic shift offered the remaining duo a good opportunity to recalibrate and stretch their ambitions beyond fan expectations, a move they hinted at on 2011's You and What Army that they've now fully embraced for the vivid sounds of new disc Rubber Souls. 6th Sense handles full productions duties this time out, showcasing his gift for crafting colourful musical backdrops built upon live instrumentation via the many string, horn, guitar, and percussive inflections that reach out from this lively set. That well-brewed sound bed, made thick with stretches of lush soul, head-nodding funk and pushed, moody grooves, is imbued with a sense of seasoned maturity by Don and Von Pea, who display a very prominent "grown folk" attitude in their wordplay throughout. Cuts like "The Only One," bustling b-boy jam "Pick It Up" and the spirited and observational "Worldmade" bristle with a cool intensity that's nicely offset by the eased vibe and thoughtful verses of "Never Too Much," as well as fittingly reflective closer "The Vehicle." Rubber Souls is a great step for Tanya Morgan away from the concept records that were becoming somewhat expected. While there was nothing at all wrong with that tact, this disc's unrestrained approach and vibrant production prove a positive change of pace. (Independent)