By The Rivers – ‘By The Rivers’ [Review]

By The RiversDescribing music as ‘soulful’ is so common these days that it seems to have lost all meaning. But sometimes, you just have to do it. And when considering By The Rivers’ eponymous debut album, this is definitely one of those times. Heavy yet weightless, By The Rivers‘ humanity drifts lightly into the ears, having been filtered through your speakers and distilled from the raw power of a fantastically talented creative collective.

The first track I have to mention is Make Your Own Road. I agree 100% with everything about this song, from the message so strongly stated in its lyrics to that smooth and sensual Santana-style guitar solo. It’s all about non-conformity and self-actualisation; two subjects very close to my heart and major driving forces behind The Musical Melting Pot.

Elsewhere, This Love left a smile on my face a mile wide; Take Control fuses political lyrics à la Rage Against The Machine (albeit far less sweary) with slinky grooves and laid back vibes; and Don’t Look To Me is sure to get the couples at live shows grinding their hips and using their hands in ways not normally acceptable in public. Vulture brings to mind some favourite local live bands (Free Peace, Tree House Fire, Lunatrix); Hit and Run‘s instrumental section is playfully inventive and so funky it hurts in a good way; Run Home‘s intro showcases playing tight but just loose enough; and closer Rocksteady reminds me of The Cat Empire live at Brixton Academy – an incredible memory that I wish would be rekindled more often.

Overall, there’s just one more thing to say: This is the perfect album for 2014’s spring, its summer, and the rest of your life.


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Posted on 17 April 2014

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