Tortured Soul is the second LP from Nicole Willis & The Soul Investigators and the PR has it that a, “…new turn is the dusky sound of these raw tracks, which could be compared to the era when Motown stepped from their 1960s pop sound to more progressive times.” Bear in mind that’s ‘new turn’ as in ‘not new really’ since tracks on Willis’s eight year old debut LP with the Soul Investigators, Keep Reachin Up, were described by the same PR machine as, “[bringing]…to mind releases by legendary soul labels such as Motown.” Not that I’m complaining you understand since I wasn’t entirely convinced by the more seventies sound on recent single and soul ballad It’s All Because Of You which, as it transpires, is the weakest track on the album.
If you know Willis and The Soul Investigators of old, you’ll know to expect lush retro sounds of the highest quality with production to rival that of The Daptone stable. Best cuts are the uptempo orchestral soul of opener Light Years Ahead and northern soul stomper Break Free Shake A Tail Feather. Comes complete with horn arrangements courtesy of Willis’s husband Jimi Tenor on a number of tracks.
(Out now on Timmion)