Irresistibly sexy… a damn good debut…
Reviewed by: Keilly Reilly
The Ray Mann Three should be a laughing stock. They make beautiful soul music and Ray Mann’s delicious falsettos are seriously sexy, but it’s hard to take music like this seriously – just look at Prince. Somehow they pull it off without being caricatures, though, and while nothing quite equals the languid grooves of the exquisite opening track Smile, this is a damn good debut. Ray Mann used to be the lead guitarist in neo-soul band Kid Confucius and drummer Bart Denaro still plays with them, and their influence is easy to hear in the ever so slightly dirty groove of Hook Me Up. On that song Mann does the G. Love half-sing half-rap thing, but it’s when he gets to crooning that things are at their best, his Prince meets Curtis Mayfield voice joining the liquid guitar licks in a blissful combination rather than the sleazy bass/ low talking sound that the band sometimes slips into. Yr Werds borrows a little from the Beatles’ Oh! Darling, but turns those elements into a classic soul track that has the rhythm section taking the lead a bit more for a nice understated moment, and Getting Thru slows things right down for some slow burning soul. ‘The Ray Mann Three’ winds up with another slow number, Night With You and, like the rest of the album, it’s irresistibly sexy – God only knows what these guys do live, but if it’s anything like this album, you’d better watch out.
Source: dB Magazine Adelaide, 14.01.09