Foy Vance: From Muscle Shoals review – Falls short of soulful spirit

Fri, Jun 28, 2019, 06:15


From Muscle Shoals

Foy Vance

Gingerbread Man Records

R&B / Soul

Throughout Foy Vance’s career the Bangor native frequently embraces change, usually gravitating towards big names along the way.

From opening for Elton John, dueting with Kacey Musgraves and signing to Ed Sheeran’s label, it’s safe to assume that his contacts list is an endless scroll through the music industry’s elite. On his fourth studio album, From Muscle Shoals, the singer can be heard chasing the golden sounds of 1960s soul music.

The album – the first of a two-part installment with To Memphis following in September – is loaded with a smooth sway of saxophones, rumbling piano lines and quickened drum-beats. However, nestled among vibrant instrumentation are lyrics anchored by heartbreak; “I had to stop falling in love ‘cos all that I got was never enough,” he intones on Pain Never Hurt More Than Love.

Named for the area in Alabama where recording sessions by Aretha Franklin, Joe Cocker and The Rolling Stones were held – From Muscle Shoals falls short of encapsulating the soulful spirit that embodies the legendary locality in its sterile production.

These arrangements lack the energy required to encourage the listener out of their seat.