Eric Debonair McNair ‘This Could Be Love’ CD/DIG (Private Press) 4/5

Apparently those who have bought the Blu Mitchell album also took one of these too, normally I wouldn’t have bothered as I have no interest whatsoever in what other people are playing and it certainly has no bearing on what I buy. Anyway from the opening Temps style guitar licks and the crunching beat of “Every Weekend” I was hooked, this is one tough album and he is clearly taking no prisoners, with superb production and a really unique voice – and then up pops a sax solo that is just so right.
The reason for the soul heads to get on board is the Toni Tony Tone sounding “Pay Your Love Back” – the best tune all year (I know it is only February). A lazy shuffling rhythm and some great vocals including backing singers challenging his right to be on top of the mix, tinkling piano, guitar ala Curtis Mayfield, 4 minutes of sheer joy and then some. In fact because of this I pulled all the Toni Tony Tone stuff from the shelves and had a couple of hours with old friends, they were well ahead of their time.

Back to this album then and the sultry “Beck & Call” is a monster head nodder with lovely rhythms, is that a Clavinet I can hear? Slowing it down for the superb “I Adore You” and “These Three Things”, both of which just envelope your senses, and then it is on to track 6, which is a total mystery to me and I can’t get my head around why it’s there, but ‘The Sammy Slammy Show’ is and I’ll leave it up to you decide, for me it’s a total waste of valuable time.
Next up the rolling dancer “L-O-V-E”, a duet with Deon Q, who has got quite a voice, melting its way into your head. There are also a couple of tracks on here which are suitably marked explicit but they aren’t that bad really.
“I miss you” is a cracking stepper that needs sunny days and a loud sound system, perfect for your carnival.
This is an album that came my way by accident but I’m so glad it did. In the battle with Blu Mitchel this one is ahead at the minute so please do find the time to check it out on Bandcamp.

Brian Goucher