Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Album Review: Brandon Coleman - Resistance

Brandon Coleman
***and1/2 out of *****

Brandon Coleman has been sitting on his completed release Resistance for over 6 years now, releasing it in late 2018 because he felt the time is right with a rejuvenated hometown scene to shine a spotlight on it. Coleman has been a part of Kamasi Washington's band and the collective of fellow L.A. artists (Thundercat et all) are all present on this release which is a slippery slice of bright Los Angeles modern R&B, Funk and pop.

All of the tunes are wrapped in a 80's gloss with modern day twists such as vocoder's, what is old is new again for Coleman as his tracks roll out like unheard of late 80's pop staples. The trio which kick off Resistance are all cut from that same cloth as "Live For Today" adds strings funk and a big guitar ending, "All Around The World" increases the electro pop vibe while "A Letter To My Buggers" is a skittering gorgeous mix of bright electric keyboard blasts, piano fills, bubbling bass and dynamite drumming leading to a great retro/modern single. 

Coleman and company shift gears as "Addiction" drops directly into Parliament Funkadelic territory as Sheera joins on lead vocals for the get down jam while "Sexy" just jams out on and on, feeling like freedom. Things are less exciting in the middle of the record, with one note offering "There's No Turning Back" and the title jazz interlude closes when it was just picking up steam, but business picks back up for the Earth Wind and Fire sounding "Sundae" with vocals from N'Dambi.

Coleman's source of inspiration when he was young and the artist who he credits with blowing his mind was Herbie Hancock, but it is telling that the record which brought forth this epiphany was Sunlight, not close to the top of his popular or critical releases. This was the phase in Hancock's career where he was singing through a vocoder and making disco tracks like "I Thought It Was You".

Knowing this about his influences, things quickly fall into place and show Coleman and crew are well versed, talented and making music they want to hear on Resistance. Clearly retro, clearly futuristic, Coleman continues to be an artist to keep tabs on whether he is dabbling in funk, jazz, pop or soul and while his collaborators have gotten lots of attention recently Resistance is about to join the conversation.
Support the artists, buy the record, stream it on bandcamp or below and peep some video:

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