Delve into the celestial expanse of Scandinavian soul, where novices and seasoned Scandinavian soul aficionados alike can unearth a constellation of shimmering jewels. Amidst Stockholm’s musical tapestry, the Soultune Allstars shine brightly, living up to their fitting moniker. Even more appropriately for its roots, the band’s latest album is titled – The Soul Of The Viking.
In their inaugural release ‘Introducing SoulTune Allstars‘, this Swedish ensemble unveiled their sonic prowess, leaving an indelible mark on the Scandinavian soul scene. Their melodies, adorned with funky riffs and harmonies that resonated with black soul music’s legacy, showcased Soultune Allstars’ undeniable prowess.
On their latest 11-track album, Swedish maestro and bandleader Niclas Wretelid joined forces with Finnish virtuoso guitarist Mikko Räisänen (of Chicken Grass fame). The outcome is a Nordic smorgasbord of groove that captures the senses.
The Soul Of The Viking is an undulating river of soul, delivering soul-stirring vocals threaded with instrumentals decorated with riffs, solos, and musical satisfaction. As a result, you will experience a listening dimension rich in compelling dynamics. This creates a listening voyage rich in captivating dynamics, enhanced by Olli Tuomainen’s dulcet flute melodies, simply the best you’ll hear all year! The result keeps you hooked and is an album you’ll never tire of hearing as it effortlessly swings between funky grooves and dreamy goodness. Predominately crafted with instrumental tracks, you can feel this album was recorded to be listened to as a varied yet cohesive, soulful collection.
Embarking with the tantalising ‘Viking Intro,’ the album swiftly segues into the audacious funk of the lead single, ‘Looking for Trouble.’ Sung by US artist Carlton Jumel Smith, with overtones of 70’s blaxploitation tracks, the opening lyric, ‘I’d use an earthquake to make a milkshake,’ is a jubilant summon that etches an endless grin. The transatlantic presence of US West Coast soulstress Maria Sanchez graces “Oh Your Love,” an enchanting two-step invitation tailor-made for lovers.
With both vocals and instruments, the album lifts spirits or evokes tranquillity.
‘Sweat and Sour‘ envelops listeners in a cocoon of pure mellowness, while ‘Hang On,’ exuding a 70s cinematic aura, entwines velvety chords with buttery basslines. The sonic marvel of ‘Drop It‘ emerges as a symphonic playground – a haven for audiophiles to revel in its harmonious complexity.
One of the sweetest, funky soul tunes I’ve heard in ages arrived with the track ‘Sunday Afternoon‘. The groove is tight, and the horns blow like a sea maiden’s love call carried in the wind. This track, much like the album itself, transcends mere standard description and ignites the fires of imagination!
I wasn’t prepared for the magnificence of this album. Second offerings seldom outshine their predecessors, yet this album shines brighter.
Although this reviewer doesn’t have the vinyl version, it is certainly worthy of a prized spot in any collection. This is despite the once again disappointing cover art. However, rating this album anything less than an excellent 5 out of 5 this time would diminish its brilliance!
The Soul Of The Viking - Soul Tune Allstars
Second offerings seldom outshine their predecessors, yet this album shines brighter. 5 star brilliance!