Mr Everything has turned in one of the best dance albums of the year so far. Warm...
Jack Smith 2004
This is Fred Everything's second album following on from Under The Sun, and at the risk of sounding sycophantic, it's quite possibly the most enjoyable 60-minutes of dance that I've heard for a very long time.
Frederic Blais' sound is typically inspired by his peers - MAW, Blaze and Jazzanova - with a mixture of feel-good dance-influences and jazzy flavours underpinning the foundations of this collection. Much like the albums that, say, Groove Armada make,Mr Everything makes merit with a less-is-more approach with warm strings, soothing vocals, guitar-riffs and brass-stabs that are as contemporary as they are timeless, with "Winter Blues" type of these ingredients; its enveloping sound sucking you further-and-further in with each successive looped bar.
Like his contemporaries this is a musician-lead set with an equally strong selection of vocalists plying their trade throughout: Karl The Voice's engaging lyrics on the chewy, funk grooves of "For Your Pleasure", DJ Heather flexing her larynx on the jackin' "That Thang", and fellow Chi-Town player Roy Davis Jr delivering the soothingly sophisticated "Next To Me" - a beautifully deep and metaphorically rich song that harks back to the conceptual days of the roots of the movement called house. However, reminiscent of Solaris Heights' underground classic "Midnight", it is Rise Ashen's dusky lilt on the albums' opener "Light Of Day" that steals the show.
It you are looking for comparisons, it would be fair to mention this alongside the Black Science Orchestra's 1996 opus, Walter's Room. There, as in here, the skilfully produced album created a common ground between house and its '70s forebear, with strings, vibes and keyboards adding to the atmosphere. Whisper it quietly: Light Of Day may well have the makings of a classic dance album.