I’ll tell you what seems to be impossible – creating a crossover nu-soul hit that keeps both the masses and the heads happy. Ever a greasy pole to climb, so far the only act demonstrating anything like the superhuman grip necessary has been Gnarls Barkley. At least since the seventies. Genuinely authentic sounding funk-soul revivalists like Sharon Jones and co. haven’t managed to attract a non-specialist audience (though it’s true that Mark Ronson has employed Jones’ band The Dap Kings – but the fact remains largely unknown) while Amy and the like never had any underground kudos in the first place. Impossible – one of the more convincing cuts from the recent Love & War LP, finds Merriweather doing his best with a melody influenced as much by The Mamas & The Papas as by Ike and Tina, and Ronson provides his usual breakbeat (yes, I did mean to use the singular) but he is no Cee-Lo and Ronson is no Dangermouse. One for the charts then and not the heads.
Out 17 August on Allido/ Columbia
Oh yeah – here’s the vid…