Today sees the launch of Beverley Knight’s highly anticipated seventh album – Soul UK – an album of soulful classic from the UK sure delight even the most critical of fans. Well known for writing her own material, Soul UK is quite the departure for Beverly Knight who returns to her roots with this collection and includes hits from George Michael, Junior, Heatwave, Sould II Soul and Roachford to name but a few.
Soul UK has a great summer upbeat feel and straight out of the bag with Soul II Soul’s Fairplay, the feet start a’ tappin and you simply get lost with the infectious rhythm and arrangement. Originally released in 1988, Soul II Soul’s first single, Knight brings the track right up to date with her modern twist.
Loose Ends, a trio formed in the early 80’s lend another upbeat track called Don’t Be a Fool and along with Jamiroquai’s When You Gonna Learn, Junior Giscombe’s Mamma used to Say (the 1st single from the album) and Roachford’s Cuddly Toy the album has a great deal of infectious positivity and is without doubt a mark of Knight’s talent to make these classics feel like her own.
Slowing things down a little, the stand out track of the entire album for me, without hesitation, is her amazing rendition of George Michael’s seventh US number 1 (reached 8 in the UK charts) One More Try. I felt myself drifting away, reminiscing loves won and lost, and it reminded me of her live version of Angels (written by Robbie Williams and Guy Chambers) a few years ago for Radio 2. This is a wonderful version and one sure to get the seal of approval from George himself.
Those who are well versed in the bubbly girl from Wolverhampton, either via her television appearances, radio interviews or her seemingly contagious unrelenting twitter messages (one wonders if any other artist gives so much back to her fans) will feel her personality in every track.
Beverley has certainly found her groove in this album hitting the inspirational heights no other UK soul diva can. With a blend of gospel, soul, dance and R & B Soul UK is a monster of an album and sees Beverley Knight firmly back at the top of her game. Deserving all the plaudits she’ll inevitably receive with this collection, this is a must buy album for 2011. Inspirational in so many ways and utterly flawless – both singer and song.