MATT BIANCO (MARK REILLY) MEETS NEW COOL COLLECTIVE
'The Things You Love' album is the result of a long distance collaboration between Mark Reilly of Matt Bianco fame (the band perennially remembered for their chart success with 'Get Out of Your Lazy Bed'), and Dutch act New Cool Collective. The latter mix up elements of jazz, dance, latin, salsa, afrobeat and boogaloo, with seemingly enough crossover appeal for Reilly's own musical proclivities to warrant this merging of international artistry. The fruits of their long-distance labour only amounted to an EP's worth of material, with a concomitant tour, although, what's been stipulated as being "by popular demand", this has now been expanded into a full-length release, with five newly recorded compositions.
I gather this meeting of musical minds and talent originally started out with just a few rehearsal sessions together, all in the same room, jamming out some ideas, before resorting to exchanging songwriting developments remotely, between the UK and the Netherlands. Working in such a manner has become commonplace in the twenty first century, even for musicians within the same band - internet technologies have increasingly made this a viable creative possibility. However, the results here should not be taken for granted, as this is about as cohesive a collaboration as you could ever find, defying and defining its predominantly long-distance dynamic.
Music-wise, this is an indubitable feel-good record. All music has a time and a place, and whether your listening expectations are that something will either create or feed your mood, 'The Things You Love' will satisfy both. This is the kind of album you want to listen to when sad or happy, as I predict it'll bring a smile to your face if feeling a bit down, or heighten your already content state of mind. There's nothing overtly challenging here; rather, this is a laidback listen that oozes cool in each and every bar of music as jazzy passages and latin-fuelled rhythms are conveyed through layered instrumentations where guitar, bass, keys and percussion feature as heavily in the mix as brass instruments. And then there are the soulful, smooth, soothing tones of Reilly's voice, adorning the music with comfort, calm and cool in equal measure. UK singer Elisabeth Troy also crops up at one point, on 'Cry', adding her own soulfully swayed vocals to the track.
On a label that's primarily become renowned for its rock and metal releases, Matt Bianco and New Cool Collective are a fine, inspired addition to their roster of artists. If you want a sonic divergence from the rock/metal intensity of your usual listening platter, then 'The Things You Love' will provide the perfect antithesis to such.
THE THINGS YOU LOVE
Review by Mark Holmes
28th Oct 2016
1) You Should Be Dancing
2) The Things You Love; 3) Double Stitch
4) Do The Right Thing
5) Don't Blame It On That Girl
6) Count Me In
7) Cry (ft. Elisabeth Troy)
8) Breaking Out
9) Bring It On
10) Samba Italiano
11) Breaking Out (Nicola Conte Remix)
12) Bring It On (Nicola Conte Remix)
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:
"...this is a laidback listen that oozes cool in each and every bar of music..."