Ida Bang makes music at a point where soul, blues and rock themes are all being gently blended together into the sort of music that we used to call rhythm ’n’ blues but which possibly needs a new name or perhaps we just get over the whole genre label game and accept that they were only ever things that lazy journalists and tribalistic music fans bandied around anyway. Maybe it is time to start talking about music in more mechanical terms, to describe what is going on under the bonnet rather than getting fixated on the sleek lines, nostalgic impressions and musical paint job.
And whilst Good To Me is definitely an album built along sleek lines, it is the groove that hums within that is the real joy to behold here. And if you need convincing just head straight to the title track and marvel in its infectiousness, its soulful textures and its beat and boogiesome grooves. And the best moments found here, for me anyway, come from these more dance-driven moments. Not The Same is a song that sways, sashays and swaggers past your consciousness, You Can’t Have It Both Ways is a deft bluesy future classic…just give it time… and No Bad At All is a modern take on the classic sound of Wicked Wilson Pickett at his most fired up.
Which is not to say the more mellow, sweeter moments aren’t great too, Everlasting Friend is a lilting and wonderfully delicate dedication that reveals just how versatile Ida’s voice to be an opening salvo Forgive Me is a dramatic soul ballad and a brave way to kick the album off.
It’s all very well trying to push the envelope forward by making eclectic choices and fusing genres together but such approaches are as transient as the fad and fashion that drives them.
What Good To Me is all about is cherry-picking classic sounds and refashioning them for a modern audience. You could make an argument for such an approach being a bit of a creative cul-de-sac, perhaps, but when the music is this good, this well delivered, this superbly crafted, who cares?