Let me start by simply saying, What do you get when you mix together the Bee Gees, Incognito, Earth Wind & Fire, Brand New Heavies, The James Taylor Quartet and Jamiroquai? and the answer is an Italian super group called Camera Soul!
Since the birth of this new band – under the tender care of Piero and Pippo Lombardo – their rise has been incredible. Anyone unfortunate enough to come within an earshot of their musical waves are immediately swept up in the Jazz-funk current and taken on a euphoric journey.
This 3rd album entitled ‘Dress Code’ kicks off with ‘The Purpose’ a song with a strong message, “It aint diamonds…silver…glory…It’s your talent…blessings…family…your one gift and purpose…” hinting that it’s not the material things you see which define us but things much more closer to home, take heed – pay attention!
Featuring the crystal clear and confident vocals by new lead singer Maria Enrica Lotesoriere, the song has you instantly up and dancing around to the cool disco vibe. You must check out the horn solo of Gianfranco Campagnoli, and guitar of Antonio Tosques too before you slide along into the second funky track of the album ‘Bring Me Back’ – a beautiful and upbeat love song. Think dance formations and Jamiroquai’s ‘Canned Heat’, then you’ll begin to picture what I mean here.
Fear not though, Dress Code isn’t just a funk mega-fest, Camera Soul not only take the tempo down a notch in ‘More and More’ but also dip back into their vaults of music and bring out beautiful memories of their Marchio Bossa days. In fact listening to the album you hear similarities to songs on albums ‘Italian Lounge Music’ and ‘The Best Of Italian Bossa Nova’.
Never listened to their earlier Marchio Bossa music? I highly recommend it, especially the 2012 album ’50 Best Italian Lounge’.
Teaming up again with USA composer Kathryn Ballad-Shut, who, as well as lending her hand to the lyrics of two of my favorite tracks on the album ‘Push Play’ and ‘Glow’ has an influence on the group that is felt on song ‘This Rain’ – reminiscent of their Akademia award winning song ‘Locked Inside’.
If I was in the business of giving out awards, mine would go to the album’s title track ‘Dress Code’. It’s tongue in cheek and one you ladies can relate to – getting dressed up to go out, bedroom’s a mess, you make your way to the club and have to flirt with the doorman to get in as they have a ‘Dress Code’! This track is very ‘Saturday Night Fever’ and if Camera Soul are going to make a music video, it should be for this song!
Other songs on the album to look out for are, ‘Eu Quiero Samba’ the only non english song of the album, which I love as it reminds me of another song of Marchio Bossa’s called ‘A Rilento’, ‘Round The World’ (like ‘Dimentica Paris’), ‘The Colour of Music’ which if you pay attention to the lyrics, seems like a personal song to the band. “Never give up, take good vibes, don’t be afraid to try…come and risk your freedom to fail.” Which if you think of it Camera Soul are taking a big risk, singing songs not in their native tongue and playing music which is not commercial enough to be hitting the big radio stations – (until there is a change in people’s music choices that is) but still they are passionate and determined enough to continue on through and this is what is winning music lovers over again and again.
Lastly I have to mention ‘A Day With You In London’ it’s magical and romantic – here you see where the sights of the Camera Soul family are firmly set…with a tour of London, watch this space.
Listen to ‘This Rain’ here on the Grammy Amplifer