Thursday 16 November 2017

'The Rebirth of Soul' by Syleena Johnson

In a staggering career lasting nearly twenty years, Syleena Johnson emphatically delivers 'The Rebirth of Soul' - her eleventh studio release and, very possibly, her greatest effort yet.

For an artist that has collaborated with everyone from Anthony Hamilton to Busta Rhymes, the Grammy-nominated pairing with Kanye West for 'All Falls Down' and the duet album with Musiq Soulchild, it's the full-length pairing with Johnson's own father that people may have waited the longest to hear.

Soul and blues singer and producer, Sylvester "Syl" Johnson, boasts an incredible career that started in the 1950s and led him to record with Twinight Records and later Hi House.  Famed for his singles 'Is It Because I'm Black' and 'Different Strokes', the union of father and daughter for 'The Rebirth of Soul' has generated a fantastic piece of work and taken Syleena Johnson's music to an exciting new level.

Featuring ten cover versions including Aretha Franklin's 'Chain of Fools', Curtis Mayfield's 'The Makings of You', Etta James's 'I'd Rather Go Blind and Syl Johnson's 'Is It Because I'm Black', the album not only feels like a love letter to a classic bygone era of soul music, but also one to Chicago: the album was recorded in Chicago, the hometown and base for each of the Johnsons, plus the tracklist is neatly compiled to pay homage to either artists, songwriters or record labels from Chicago.

'The Rebirth of Soul' released through Shanachie Entertainment is masterfully executed and a truly exciting release marking this as something as 'Rebirth' for Syleena Johnson as well.

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