Album of the Week – ‘Happiness in Every Style’ by Nicole Willis and the Soul Investigators
‘Happiness in Every Style’ by Nicole Willis and the Soul Investigators is Eastside Radio’s Album of the Week.
This soulful body of work see’s Willis’ and the group exploring the upbeat funk and groove side of soul. Now the supergroup’s third trip to the studio, the task seems to have been to keep things fresh, innovative and resonate with fans. The album’s mood energy and narrative are where the band found these elements. Kicking things off with the upbeat ‘One in a Million’, also the release’s single, is the perfect way to settle into the album; thick horn riffs, a strong groove held together by the bass drums and lead guitar, an organ singing sweetly under everything and of course Willis’ carefree and effortless vocals.
The first half of the record then takes a mellow turn with distorted guitar’s and key’s and slow grooves as Willis explores a softer and darker side to her lyricism with stand outs like ‘Angel’ and ‘Bad Vibrations’. ‘Together We Climb’ is the album slowly returning back to an upbeat groove, progressively reintroducing each instrument at the new tempo in it’s introduction and balancing itself between cursing along in its verses and bursting with energy in its choruses as all plays fill this section as one. The sweet ending is the over-six-minute vamp that is ‘Hot Sauce’. The song acts as the moment we’re being brought back into the studio after days of recording and fine tuning, the group let’s everything go and circles back to the core of what they came in to create, a deep groove, tight brass riffs and dusty vocals.
This album really is for all music lovers. If ever you’ve been told or feel as if there isn’t music being made to ever compare to the raw talent and musicianship of the artists of yesteryear, play this album. We do recommend for those seeking the ultimate listening experience for this album that you get your hands on a copy of it’s vinyl counterpart, but don’t think that you are missing out on all the fuss if you can only get your hands on a digital or CD version. The pairing have captured the dusty, heartfelt, energised, and soulful elements of the albums any music lover would have been brought up on. The cherry on top would be to say that they were going to be bringing this much needed album out to a live stage near you but the group don’t seem to have plans to visit anytime soon. Nevertheless, we still have the album to keep us satisfied until they do!
Sami Kantelinen: Bass guitar.
Antti Määttänen: Hammond organ.
Seppo Salmi: Guitar. Jukka Sarapää: Drums.
Pete Toikkanen: Guitar.
Nicole Willis: Vocals. Erno Haukkala: Trombone, flute.
Antti Lauronen: Baritone sax, flute, percussion.
Jimi Tenor: Tenor sax, flute.
Lasse Tolvanen: Tenor sax.
Martti Vesala: Trumpet, flugelhorn.
Horn arrangements by the horn section, except “One In A Million” by Jimi Tenor, “Where Are You Now” by Martti Vesala and “Hot Sauce” by Erno Haukkala & Antti Lauronen
Recorded by Jukka Sarapää, Sami Kantelinen, & Antti Lauronen at Timmion Records, Helsinki, Finland
Vocals recorded by Jimi Tenor at Piparjuuri Studios, Helsinki, Finland
Mixing by Roni Martin at Martin & Harrison, Helsinki, Finland
1. One in a Million
2. Where Are You Now
3. Let’s Communicate
5. Bad Vibrations
6. Together We Climb
7. Open Sky
8. Paint Me in a Corner
9. Thief in the Night
10. Vulture’s Prayer
11. Hot Sauce
You can follow Nicole Willis and the Soul Investigators’ career via their FACEBOOK or TWITTER pages, or at http://www.msnicolewillis.com. Be sure to tune in this week to 89.7FM EASTSIDE RADIO for your chance to WIN a copy of ‘Happiness in Every Style’ by Nicole Willis and the Soul Investigators. You must be a supporter to win so make sure to sign up at http://eastsidefm.org/support-us-2/. Don’t forget you can also stream the station at WWW.EASTSIDEFM.ORG.