The Floyd Harvey Robinson Project ‘Here To Stay’ (Private Press) 4/5

Anything to do with FHR is acquired asap, he has a very unique way of presenting the music I have listened to all my life, his voice has an instantly recognisable timbre and musically he is never afraid to try something different. This album has a cavernous production for a contemporary album but even within this genre he’s created a sound that won’t be imitated too often by his peers. This project has presented us with 8 tracks, all danceable with not a ballad in sight which is a shame, but hey, I’m not complaining. Not a duff track on the album, you can play from start to finish or pop it on shuffle – it will not disappoint.

Let’s point you in the direction of the tracks that hit me on the first play. ‘Friends Indeed’ is a rolling mellow toe tapper which seeps into your head, you do wonder for a moment if you have popped on an old friend from the shelves rather than a new tune. ‘Don’t You Know’ is another slightly more urgent but not by much, with huge production making it clear that the calibre here is high. ‘We Got The Loving’ is simply stunning, sounding like it could have come off an Isaac Hayes’ album – this is a serious rewind here. As for the title track, well it is destined to become a weekender anthem once the word gets out, its got that heavy weekender swaying going on, you know the score; your favourite woman in one hand and your beer in the other (and you don’t spill a drop), head back giving it your best vocal. I feel like a kid in a sweet shop these past few weeks. It appears to be raining soul music releases and ‘Here To Stay’ is a fine example of what is big right now.

Several tracks have already been plundered on soul radio shows, it just remains now for the club jocks to get on board. As is always the case here, we really would like this release to be pressed on vinyl. Failing that, at the very least a CD as it thoroughly deserves it. It would be a travesty if it simply got lost in the world of ‘Downloads’.

Brian Goucher