I apologize for being incognito for the past few days. I have been down and out with a bad cold and I’m only resurfacing now. I think it’s only fair to write, now that my brain is functioning again. 😀 So here I am. And since I haven’t done an Ear To The Ground entry for a bit, I figured – why not now?
Not too long ago, I wrote a review on Chris Rob’s show at Blue Note. He was energetic, passionate, soulful, spirited and I could go on. I received his new EP Mental Notes and may I say, it is stupendous. My first exposure to Chris Rob was while he was on tour with Laura Izibor last year. I met him, did some research and checked out out his album, The Official Bootleg Of Chris Rob Vol.2. Well, ladies and gentlemen, this EP is giving me good face.
Chris is known first and foremost for his prowess on the piano, as a classically trained pianist. His instrumentation on any of his projects definitely encapsulates all of his influences – from Marvin Gaye, The Isley Brothers and Curtis Mayfield. The funky pimpalcious vibe of the intro “Not Guilty,” transports you right back to a blaxploitation film. It is a perfect segue for “Sex.Money. & Drugs” a song where it is evident Curtis’ inspiration and musicianship is called upon. The song that has my heart on this EP is “Waiting 4 You.” Hearing this song live, I knew I would have a problem trying to keep the song from being on repeat. The sweet melody, Chris’ vocals and the lyrics – just marvellous. Of course, the EP has to have the song you vibe out to. The coo of the horn in the background, Chris’ sexy ooh’s and ahh’s and just a simple repetition of “check out that body” all come together for – “Check Out That Body.” The co-produced DJ Spinna track “Take Time” reminds us to step back once and a while to relax, relate and release if you will. “In time you’ll find all that you have been searching for…” is what Chris states. The delightful surprise for me was the house-influenced “Everyday.” The mid-tempo jam will elicit a steady soul clap from any house head! Chris began the project with an instrumental, only to send us off on a cloud of sweet-sounding melodies on “3 AM Sailing.”
This EP was too short for me. I was looking for more, once the EP was over. Nonetheless, it is cohesive and brilliant. Infused with funk and grand instrumentation, this is an EP for your collection.
Mental Notes was released on September 14th, click here to find out more info on purchasing the EP.