Remy Shand The Way I Feel

A new soul voice has emerged. Twenty-three-year-old Winnipeg native Remy Shand was all the buzz at this year's Canadian Music Week, his classic R&B sounds winning over press, peeps and radio alike. It's little wonder why; The Way I Feel is a stunning debut. Recorded over four years in Shand's home studio, with the man himself on every instrument, the album finds him paying tribute to those who inspired him: Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Ann Peebles, the Isley Brothers and numerous other soul geniuses. Shand is very open about his sources of inspiration, and, like contemporaries such as D'Angelo, Eric Benet and Maxwell, has learned well. Al Green and his musicians seem a particularly strong influence, with songs like the beautifully written, rich "Burning Bridges" and "The Colour of Day" done up in classic Al stylee, with steady soft drums, organ swells, horn accents and Remy's sweet falsetto. "Rocksteady" takes a different page out of Al's book, adding a nice little pop chorus and funky bridges. Much like the soulfully bouncy title track, this one gives good hook. The slow burning, soul-funk of "The Second One" is immediate sing-along material, calling upon Marvin at many a moment with its classic strings, keys and vocal phrasings. "Everlasting" is straight up sexy, classic meeting contemporary, with Shand channelling Curtis Mayfield and Lenny Kravitz alike. There's no doubt that Remy has an uncanny ability to write, arrange and play in a lovingly derivative manner - his authenticity and depth is no small feat when one considers just how many different musicians his soul heroes worked with to accomplish their own sounds - but this no doubt only hints at the power of what is to come as he finds his own voice. Fresh feeling album closer "The Mind's Eye" leaves us wanting more. (Motown)