16 November 2011

Review: Mark de Clive-Lowe 'Renegades'

[Tru Thoughts]

Uncompromising. That's the first word I'd choose in describing Mark de Clive-Lowe's approach to music making. Over a career which spans nine solo albums and countless collaborations across the globe, MdCL has developed and delivered a style which has become all his own; and while he may have a new label (Tru Thoughts), that uncompromising approach remains on his latest album, Renegades. Running the gamut of his preferred genres, with a heavy emphasis on contemporary funk, hip hop and broken beat, Renegades displays a consistent thread from go to whoa, giving guest vocalists Omar, Bembe Segue, Tawiah, Sandra Nkake, Ovasoul7 and Nia Andrews plenty of space to deliver compelling performances. Andrews is the standout, appearing on three of the best cuts here: We Renegades, with its crunchy head-nodding lope; the loose-limbed, jazz-tinged Hooligan; and the future-soul bounce of The Why. MdCL's love for working with like-minded, virtuosic musicians remains strong, with percussionist Sheila E. (Prince), bassist Pino Palladino (D'Angelo, The Who) and string master Miguel Atwood-Ferguson also among the guests. Despite the superstar line-up though, the songs are more than good enough to stand up, marking Renegades as MdCL's best work since Tide's Arising - and maybe even his best yet.

4 stars from 5

Check out a preview of Renegades here...

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