Rodina ‘You Got Soul’ (P-Vine) 5/5

“You got soul” is the second album from this Leeds based band, which was released on April 19th.
Rodina comprises of Irish singer-songwriter Aoife Hearty, producer and pianist Joe Tatton, and the album features the infamous Haggis Horns, Pete Shand (from New Mastersounds) on bass and drums from Luke Flowers (Cinematic Orchestra).
Eleven tracks are presented on the album, covering genres such as Americana, jazz, pop, soul and even a little bit of ska. Each one has a perceptibly different sound. Believe you me, there are no boring old dud tracks to be found here. Indeed, I really like every song (unusual for me), and am wowed by Aoife’s excellent singing with delicious phrasing and delivery. Recording, production and arrangements are all of a very high standard – on my system, every track sounds crystal clear and balanced, with voice and instruments shining through wonderfully. Musicianship is also brilliant throughout; the drums are tight, with funky horns and great bass. I am particularly impressed with Joe Tatton’s keyboard playing, especially on the organ solos.

The opening track, “Only Girl” has a rhythmic big-band sound. The horns are occasionally dramatic and delightfully blaring, with acoustic bass and organ cutting nicely through the mix. “You Got Soul” is a little more laid back; Aoife hits repeated high notes perfectly and with no apparent effort. Piano and horn solos are well performed and the whole track has a happy feel. A slightly darker sound is delivered in “Black Crow”; this jazzy track has an atmospheric sound with a hint of folk music. In contrast, “Outside Your Door” is a lighter, dreamier song that trips happily along raising many a smile. “Flame” is another feel good song with a noticeable ska sound, complete with reggae beat and trumpet backing. If I have a favourite track, it’s “On To Me”; this song has a tension that is emphasised by crisp drum and organ playing. I’m always a sucker for a Hammond organ solo, and “On To Me” has a lovely one towards the end. I possibly detected just a sliver of Kate Bush in the vocals and arrangement on the final track “Later”; I’m sadly prone to this kind of thing, so feel free to ignore the comparison. Better still, however, get the album and see what you think.

The album is available in Digi-Pack Album CD format, with downloads and streaming included. Download formats include MP3, FLAC and others. My copy came in a plastic folder, which was a little disappointing – jewel cases make it easier to find CDs when they are stored on a shelf. I shall nevertheless be rectifying this situation shortly, possibly by stealing a case from one of my son’s Slipknot albums with the safe assumption that he won’t notice.

I’m still enjoying this album after many listens, and it will stay near to my CD player for some time to come! “You got soul” gets a definite 5/5 from me.

Full track listing: Only Girl / You Got Soul / What If… / Black Crow / Outside Your Door / Flame / Something That You Said / Rise Like The Sun / On To Me / This Place / Later

Tony Stewart