Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Diplomats of Solid Sound "What Goes Around Comes Around"

(Pravda) To get what must be gotten out of the way when discussing any retro soul R&B live band these days: it'sbetter than Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings. Particularly because of the way this album does not simply showcase decent vocals and expect us to flip out for them. Although DSS features two strong female belters, I wouldn't say those ladies are fronting the band. Rather, I'd call the Diplomats an instrumental group in the Jr. Walker or Booker T mold, that just happens to feature some singing. Not to in any way belittle the gifts of Katharine Ruestow and Sarah Cram, who in addition to grooving harmonies also pull off the far more elusive skill of competently executing awesome Shangri-La-style talk raps. But the fun, hook-filled lyrics here just seem to be window dressing on deep, bottom-heavy jams. What I like even more is that every now and then the Dips dip into something outside of the R&B police's lineup -- was that a Santana riff there? This is funk-tional dance music!

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