Album in the Crosshairs: Saoul — Seldom Oddity EP [Special Edition] (self-released; 2019)

saoul seldom oddity album cover

Saoul wants you to taste the bread.

And be sexy while doing it.

Plus, he has a new release, Seldom Oddity, to help you along …

The unsuppressed, sensual funkiness of the multi-instrumentalist’s EP mirrors writer James Baldwin’s admonition to view sensuality — despite the unequal and on-the-brink times we live in — as a way to “respect and rejoice in the force of life, of life itself, and to be present in all that one does, from the effort of loving to the breaking of bread.”

Saoul gets every bit of that quote, and understands that Baldwin wants all of us to “eat bread again, instead of the blasphemous and tasteless foam rubber that we have substituted for it.”

In other words, TASTE the bread.

And Saoul’s follow-up set to the equally engaging The Juice is all the way here for it. Seven tracks of party-ready funk that snatch you through those ear buds and into his 30-minute jam of love, lust and longing as a counter to world’s emphasis on greed, hatred and isolation. Two chill-out jams are also included. Saoul playfully — if not cleverly — disguises the state of the world in poetic schemes while shaking sexy objects in front of your ears.

“Funk with You” sets clear instructions for tasting the bread with textbook-tight Minneapolis Funk as the groove of choice. You’ll hear strong rhythm guitar work on this track and throughout the set.

“Fire to the Flame” featuring George Andre is a thoughtful nod to hip-swaying Neo Soul that emotes imagery of intimate sweaty nights in underground Brooklyn tea houses or perhaps perfect sessions at London’s Hideaway.

Broken Beats get proper shine through “Fast Eddie” — accented by a deft allegory — and the efficient but massively funky musicianship in “Audacious” is arguably the most danceable track. Like this and most of the songs on the EP, Saoul handles the bulk of the vocal work.

If slowing down is how you prefer to taste your bread, checking the astral vibe of intrigue and attraction in “Fruitbasket” and “Distant Whisper” will be your soundtrack. In the latter instance, SoBeReal understands Saoul’s vision and steps up to solidly deliver the spoken pieces, while Saoul’s guitar solo breathes fire. Perfect songs for a Future Beats set.

But some of you may require additional instruction, which is probably why Saoul saved his clearest messaging for last in “Youbettagogetit!”: “Before they take it all” and “Before they build the wall.”

Speaking of that verb, Seldom Oddity is available now. Take your sexy self to his Bandcamp page or the usual online spots to get yours.

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