Vinyl Record Reviews

The City Boys Allstars

When You Needed Me
City Boys Mike Productions, two 33-RPM 180g LPs

When You Needed Me

One of the cool things about my job is that I get to listen to a lot of great music to which I wouldn't otherwise be exposed. One more recent example of this is The City Boys Allstars' When You Needed Me, a double album of music that to my ears is a sort of fusion between jazz-funk and R'n'B. However you want to categorise it, When You Needed Me was clearly recorded by a group of talented musicians who were obviously have a great time doing their thing!

The opening track on Side 1, Funky Peaches, is a fun, upbeat number that serves as an introduction to the band (it is also one of my favourite tracks on the album) before the sombre title track starts. A thoughtful piece, When You Needed Me is a song about the regret one feels after letting down a loved one when it's too late to make amends.

The other ten tracks (mostly originals, but including some covers) on the album have the same sort of feel to them. Another track I particularly liked was the cover of Mentor Williams' Drift Away.

The album was mastered by Greg Cabi at Sterling Sound, and has good sound quality. The bass is rhythmic and driving, and (for example) cymbals have a delicate touch. The dynamic range is fine, although I did find the presentation a little flat—that is, very little stage depth. I don't consider this a serious problem though, given the genre of music. On a more positive note, the two vinyl discs are made to a high standard, being pressed on 180 grams of thick, flat, and quiet vinyl.

I don't personally listen to a lot of this style of music, but nevertheless I encourage you to give this one a spin: the sound quality is good and the music will get your foot tappin'! For more information about The City Boys Allstars, check out their web site at www.cityboysmike.com, which includes samples for each track on the album.


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