A lovely place to begin, if you’ve been waiting for 17 months to restart the party …
Hey, don’t fret
We’re gonna make you sweat
The funk’s within you, the funk’s within you— “Splash”, performed by Saoul
I call Paint the World the must-listen sequel to SuCcumb, Saoul’s previous album.
Where SuCcumb was a semi-veiled Electro-Boogie slap at groupthink and pleasure denial, Paint the World, Saoul’s latest album, is a diagnosis, antidote, and prescription — all at the same Funkin’ time.
Regardless of how you interpret Saoul’s messages, the 4/4 booty-shaking and downtempo electro rinse this 38-minute party engages you with are damn-near axiomatic outcomes.
The opening track, “First Things First”, sounds more like an abbreviated manifesto against running harder in place while muted anthemic themes, Gospel, Soul, and momentum-building Pop ballad essence de Minneapolis Funk pulls you past the velvet rope.
“Drink your lips” — the album’s first single release — is that prescription I mentioned. The party is on, and the lyrics tell the rest of the story. “Lips” has the genome of Saoul’s Electro-Boogie love potion: a dance-first vibe that’s furiously sensual, and with the artist in command of all instruments to carry out his vision. A heaping dose of fire that’s ready for the clubs.
While “Lips” may be club-ready, “If Just For a While” ticks all the boxes to become a breakthrough Pop hit — legalized industrial payola considerations aside. Some of you know by now that I’m not impressed with much of modern Pop, so reading my words “This is one of the best Pop songs that everyone needs to hear this year” should say plenty.
The antidote and prescription continue with “Fuzzy Navel” — a stimulating throwback to a nightclubbing era where no one’s likely heard or said the word “selfie”, but Saoul also treats us to the far end of the timeline with the very modern “Bedspring Symphonies”. The latter track is adorned with playful voice tuning and beats made for more body movement. The highly-likeable title track also has a modern feel, but approaches the move-that-booty formula from a different direction. I continue to be pleased by the breadth of Saoul’s Funk vocabulary.
Joined by smooth vocalist LoRayne Marteen, Saoul makes a slower move with the two-part “Be”. I hear plenty of ideas in this track, and they never seem to be in each other’s way. And the playing is low-key heat.
And speaking of heat, don’t forget to take deep listens to “Splash” and its reprise version, where Saoul rewards you with additional fiery and thoughtful guitar and keyboard work.
Paint the World is a party you should want be a part of, and the album drops today. Grab a copy from his Bandcamp page or stream it from all the proper sites.