Adam Gibbons, a.k.a. Lack Of Afro is back, lean and mean for ’14 with a fourth studio LP. And while his DNA may have cruelly denied him the chance to ever sport a halo of kinked black hair, the twelve track Music For Adverts nevertheless reveals again that here is a man who possesses a sizeable amount of funk and soul. Not to mention a little disco, some hip-hop, a touch of sixties rnb and a dash of lounge.
So what’s new? More vocal tracks than ever before, that’s what – including no fewer than five tracks featuring Jack Tyson-Charles. Interestingly, not only has one of these already been a single, (the jangly, catchy neo-northern soul of Recipe For Love) but the remaining four have single potential too – perhaps even of the mainstream chart-bothering kind: the soaring, stadium funk of opener Freedom, the neo-soul of Missing Me and On The Road and the finely crafted soul-pop sensibilities of The Gypsy. These alone should ensure that album exposure is no crying game but imagine if one of the people involved had a relative who worked in national radio for that extra bit of exposure too…
Another vocal contributor is Juliette Ashby who turns up on the blue-eyed country-tinged neo-northern soul of Making It Right which is a kind of spiritual twin to the aforementioned The Gypsy and again we’re in potential radio single territory. The remainder of the vocals come from twin rappers and former collaborators Herbal T and former Def Jam signing Wax. Always quality, these two spit fire on on closer Here We Go Again though arguably Herbal T solo effort disco-hop belter Brown Sugar is even better. Which leaves just leaves superb uptempo mod instro (and one of my favourites) The Contender, the Les Baxter-ish No Guts, No Glory and the frankly ‘music for holiday adverts’ brassy chill-out of Coco. Incidentally – Music For Adverts? Is LOA responding to a jibe about his instros or cannily angling for more business after the success of the Adidas/ Footlocker/ P.A.R.T.Y. sync? Or both? Either way, keep your ears peeled after the drop date. I imagine you’ll be hearing stuff from this in the next year. A lot.
(Out 3 March on Freestyle Records)