Southern Avenue reimagine American music with a blast of Southern gospel blues, righteous R&B and soul power.
Release date: 27th August 2021
Label: Renew Records/BMG
Format: digital / CD
Hre’s an album we’ve sat on a while. Not literally, but it’s found a place as the go-to album for a little later evening chill out when you don’t want an intense listening experience but need a bit of a soulful lift.
Frontwoman, Tierinii Jackson has focussed on how the album makes a lyrical progression, how the words she sings reflect her attitude to life: “It’s the way I speak to myself – a way of overcoming different things, fears or traumas,” she says. It’s a manifesto of self-love (in the best possible taste), making and taking opportunities and being comfortable in your own skin. The positivity shines most brightly through the soundtrack that accompanies her lyrical craft. One where the vibrance and high energy rating match her powerhouse vocal.
Having established that with every move, Southern Avenue are going to make it count and then blasted through the brassy and bold Control, which showcases the charged philosophy, we’re lulled by some cool easy soul on Don’t Hesitate. Feel the touch of the Summer breeze that The Isley Brothers wafted our way back in ’73 and shake the hips as Push Now strikes into a funky groove. The latter is a candidate for one of those unimaginable collaborations – maybe with Aerosmith with Steven Tyler ripping into a squawking duet and Joe Perry trading licks on his perspex axe.
That funk steps up to the mark on Let’s Get It Together, a classy and smooth sway as the rhythm and percussion provides the accompaniment to the collected voices on Heathen Hearts. Stripped back to basics, it’s a lovely spiritual affirmation
When the lead guitar break hits on Pressure, it’s a reminder of the constant presence of Ori Naftaly whose co-writing credits show a penchant for not just the guitar chops, but in creating languid atmospheres (check out Too Good To Be True). And you know you’re on a steep trajectory when you can call in the likes of award-winning Grammy Man Jason Mraz who joins forces as writer on Move Into The Light to add weight to the case for Southern Avenue’s increasing profile. “Gotta’ keep on movin’” indeed; hard not to when the injections of brass kick in.
Be The Love You Want might come with the tag of being “an album of introspection“, but the Southern soul legacy is in good hands. Take their word for it, you could do much worse – Live your life, be your best!
Here’s Be The Love You Want: