The Baker Brothers- High Rez
High Rez is The Baker Brothers’ tenth studio album and is both vibrant and laid back. The album presents an easy coalescence of smooth soul and down-and-dirty funk colliding with drum and bass, hip hop and housey vibes. The album is produced by Keiron Bailey who worked with Pedley on part of the soundtrack for Quentin Tarantino’s ‘Django Unchained’, of which a version also appears on the album Hear No Evil.
Album opener The Tide Is Turning sets the scene as Starsky & Hutch take us for a high speed chase round Bay City, California with Roy Ayers and Jimmy McGriff competing for air-time on the 8-track. Goodbye My Angel fuses the polished jazz funk of Jamiroquai with the bouncing brass of the Dap Kings. Standout track Million Times Before mixes a bass heavy hip hop beat and is completed with raps from Jamaica’s Mike Beatz and Lex One from Miami. Knocking on Your Door is set to an agile drum ’n’ bass rhythm with Acantha Lang’s blissfully bluesy vocals evoking the earthy energy of Etta James and the grit of Tina Turner.
The album allows the listener to pause for breath during the slower, saxophone-led Love Like This. The mellow and evocative Back in the Game features keyboard noodlings reminiscent of Ronnie Laws, and the deep soul of Bring The Sun is all smooth sailing! The beat whips up again as Lay it On The Line combines bossa nova and afro beat with Lang’s soulful vocals before Things We’ve Done Together closes the album with a mellow stroll in Shuggi Otis/Weather Report’s stripped-back soundscape.