The album Groove Thang appears to be, at first, the very project you’d hope for if the title is what initially drew you in. The music from the first couple of tracks provides a high energy, joyful presentation of jazz and funk and soul, with brilliant vocal performances from the leading artist, and stunning musical arrangements in the form of a big band instrumental backdrop. Then you get to a track called Higher Ground, and you start to realise that there is so much more to this music than the simple good vibes given off by the sound.
Higher Ground brings the energy down a little for a mellow performance of soul and soft rock, a melodically beautiful and memorable song, and more importantly – some truly valuable and necessary lyrics. To make the world a better place, all you really need to do is listen and live it. The song is wonderful, superbly performed, written from the heart, and powerfully arranged so as it really keep you captivated and involved throughout. The hook in this case is one that stays with you long after listening, and the track is actually really well placed after the initial couple of high-drive power tracks that bring the project to life with a bang.
From here on in the songwriting throughout the collection gets better and better. Feel The Fire showcases some compelling storytelling, a mesmerising performance from the leading vocalist, and an almost rock-like instrumental build up – complete with a slick and stylish guitar solo – which satisfies on every possible level. The minimal sound of the verses allow the leading vocalist to really present a more intimate side to the performance and the music, and furthermore, these moments contrast brilliantly with the hard hitting, full throttle power of the Feel The Fire choruses.
Clay Boonthanakit, I. Elijah Baughman & Stone White – Get On Down video shoot still.
A personal highlight from the album is Everybody is Loved By Somebody. The way the song has been written really makes you focus on the lyrics, the passionate, raw sound of the vocal performance during the verses, and then finally the warmth and vibrancy of the chorus melody and instrumentation.
The words presented are kept simple, there’s nothing featured simply to fill a space – every line appears to have been thoughtfully selected, and the music and the power behind the voices fill in any gaps with brilliantly appropriate emotion. The concept is an important one, and the artists involved have executed it flawlessly. The energy of the track has a lasting effect, hopefully it’s the sort of song that will brighten up the dark days for anyone who is struggling. The beautiful By My Side continues on this inspirational pathway and it’s a pleasure to hear it all unfold around you.
As I wander through this world, Straight toward the unknown, Down this path that I have chosen, I know that I am not alone. – By My Side.
You get a whole lot of fantastic music with Groove Thang, and this comes in the form of numerous hints of inspiration, genre, style, and topic. The subject matter varies throughout from the lighthearted and fun to the deep and meaningful. There is poetry in strong supply, there are melodies to obsess over for the entirety of the upcoming summertime, and the instrumentation is varied and always professionally and passionately performed.
The leading voice running consistently throughout the project is one with awesome range, tone, and character. The songs are performed with absolute and genuine soul, whether the music is at the gentle end of the spectrum, or teetering more towards full-on rock and roll. This is something that provides a hypnotic and comforting thread throughout the collection.
Face Of a Nation, Angels Don’t Let Me Down, and Where Will You Stand offer up a stunning mid to later section of the collection with incredible solos, superb backing vocals, and a notably varied level of style and songwriting. Then through Her Sweet Memory and Lonely People, the emotional and reflective roller coaster you’re taken on as a listener is enough to keep you coming back time and time again.
At no point during the hour or so of listening to this album in full will you find yourself tiring of the songs or the music, it’s practically impossible. The production is crisp and relevant and highlights every glorious little moment brilliantly. The music has been crafted and performed by a clearly talented and experienced array of musicians, and with each moment that passes Stone White puts every single bit of his heart and soul into his performances. His voice will carry you through the toughest of times, and his honesty and poetry will ignite a fire to consistently remind you of the things that matter the most. The album is absolutely one for the long term playlist.