Shakatak – Across The World (2011)

Shakatak - Across The World (2011)
Artist: Shakatak
Album: Across The World
Label: Secret Records
Year Of Release: 2011
Quality: FLAC (tracks+.cue)

Tracklist:
01. Across The World [04:36]
02. So High [04:12]
03. Waterfall [04:59]
04. Love Holds the Key [03:37]
05. Real Thing [04:09]
06. Chance Of A lifetime [04:50]
07. Smile [04:36]
08. Funktional [03:45]
09. Lovers Hideaway [02:52]
10. My Heart In 2 Places [04:23]
11. Blue Dawn [03:32]
12. Trouble [03:44]
13. Rise And Fall [04:17]

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Shakatak is Great Britain’s ambassador of contemporary music. Scoring two Top Ten hits in the UK Singles Chart and releasing a vast number of albums made the cult status of the band. Constancy, professional musicianship and genius are the ingredients of their sustainable success.

Their newest album Across The World was released in 2011 on Secret Records Limited in the UK and Pony Records in Japan. Comprising keyboardist Bill Sharpe, vocalist Jill Seward, bassist George Anderson and drummer Roger Odell, the group invited guest musicians Alan Wormald (guitars), Derek Nash (sax), Don Gruisin (synth solo), Jacqui Hicks and Debby Bracknell (background singers).

It’s very rare that the group makes a guest appearance outside the swinging UK. So keep their music in your mind by listening to their albums.

Music is international as Anglo-American poet Wystan Hugh Auden declared in one of his poems. Across The World is Shakatak’s modern interpretation communicating strongly with world-wide audiences. Airy melodies with a jazzy impact is the band’s specialty.

Love and relationship is the theme of So High featuring songstress Jill Seward in the role of the longing and addicted woman. Water Fall is Bill Sharpe’s finely drawn composition with a great introduction of Derek Nash on soprano sax. Love Holds The Key is Jill’s wake-up call for all lovers, who lost their beloved one. The fluffy melody fades away on a techno beat.

The retro sound of Real Thing immediately creates that homely feeling of the 80’s, when the world was out of order but music still an island in the chaos. Choral melody combined with string enrichment, peppered with Derek’s sax, yes that are the Shaks. Why should they invent the wheel a second time, when their popular groove like on Chance Of A Lifetime has an enduring value.

On a swaying beat the band runs off with Smile, introducing jazzy scat singing into their choral chords. The group’s counterpart are jazz fusion journeys like Funktional. Don Gruisin’s fantastic synth keys are a special highlight of the album. On Lovers Hideaway Bill Sharpe showcases his Salsa skills on piano. Jill Seward’s enticing vocal performance can hardly compete with Bill’s fiery staccato.

The romantic My Heart In 2 Places presents guitarist Alan Wormald’s brilliant versatility in acoustic and electric guitars. He seamlessly combines Flamenco and Rock elements in one song. While Blue Dawn first superficially follows Shak’s known style, Sharpe surprises anew with blissful jazz fusion elements. I wish there would be more of this.

Coldplay’s Trouble, a top-ten-hit in the UK, is sensibly interpreted by Bill Sharpe on piano. Rise And Fall borrows from the song treasury of the ‘6o’s, when Fifth Dimension ruled the charts with Up, Up And Away or Aquarius.

Across The World is very Shakatak. Their peerless harmonies and stirring melodies are timeless. The question of which music can be described as beautiful, is something worthy of debate. But there are exceptions, which represents a large majority, a unanimous verdict. This includes the music of Shakatak, a legendary group with cult status.

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