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REVIEW: Boulevards - Groove!

REVIEW: Boulevards - Groove!

By: Jessica Gonzalez
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A review of the Boulevards album Groove!.

 

North Carolina native Jamil Rashad, alias Boulevards, gives us an updated, modern take on funk at a time where it couldn’t feel more fresh. His debut album, Groove!, released under Captured Tracks, brings to the table a sound that uniquely stands apart yet complements the Brooklyn indie label’s already rather impressive lineup (Mac Demarco, Beach Fossils, and Wild Nothing, just to name a few).


On Groove!, Boulevards certainly subscribes to some of the best characteristics of successful, catchy, and hook-heavy pop -- however, he does so while staying true to his roots, deeply ingrained in ‘70s and ‘80s funk a la Prince and Earth, Wind, and Fire. From the first song to the last, this album will have you dancing, moving and shouting the whole way through.


The opening track, “Set the Tone,” does just that and opens the album with a dance-y bang. High-energy vocals punched up with funky attitude work against an ongoing cowbell and an overall beat produced to perfection--ingredients that always guarantee a great time.


“Got to Go,” a single released earlier this year, showcases Boulevards’ knack for writing catchy hooks. His charisma shines through the tongue-in-cheek lyrics, offering that tale-as-old-as-time narrative of the morning after a fun night with the fairer sex -- via, however, a funky, unapologetic shout as opposed to the more common self-deprecating moan. Refreshing, no?


“Move & Shout” and “Cold Call” continue the party, featuring charming moments of synth sounds, memorable melodies and clever monologue.


Don’t make the mistake of assuming one track is just like the last in its danciness, however -- the album makes sure to switch up the sound and slow it down on tracks like “Talk to Me” and “Tender”. The atmosphere changes slightly at this point in the album -- perhaps offering a nod to that point at every party where everything tends to slow down, the momentum momentarily reaching its peak -- but eventually, advances into the crescendo that reaches “Weekend Love”, the album’s final track.


A promising debut that simultaneously puts funk back on the map and introduces the classic genre to the new generations, Groove! will make you move all spring and summer long. Let Boulevards take you there.

 

Boulevards - Groove!


Listen to a song by clicking on a title below:

Click to Play Boulevards // Cold Call

 
 
 
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