SOUL BASEMENT – Behemoths (2015)
SOUL BASEMENT is the project of Italian musician Fabio Puglisi, not a newcomer to the record industry as under this moniker he has already released five albums, but the just presented “Behemoths” is my first approach to it.
And it is a real find, because the CD is plenty of brimming melodies and elegant sounds in the best Westcoast tradition.
Soul Basement previous efforts featured several vocalists to perform Puglisi’s delicate arrangements, but this time I am sure he has chosen a great one that perfectly fit these tunes: Australian based songwriter, singer, musician & producer Glenn Bidmead. The man has various solo albums, a band called Kerosene, and has composed songs for countless artists, including Foreigner’s Mick Jones.
Glenn Bidmead’s vocals are grand part of the charm of “Behemoths”. His smooth, crystal clear melodic pipes drive all the songs with a cheerful grace.
“Behemoths” is Westcoast inspired by the classic L.A. AOR scene from the early ’80s, as heard on the deep groove of opener “I Want You”.
But Puglisi adds a much welcomed variation all over the CD: “We Travel Fast” is peppered with a little soul touch, the awesome ballad “Daily Bread” has a poppy atmosphere, and “Everytime You’re There” incorporates the distinct sound from the present Scandinvian Westcoast/AOR school, ala Ole Borud.
Then the terrific, happy main melody of “Ordinary Days” reminds me Swedish wonders Houston, and their more classy AOR side with Fender Rhodes all over plus harmony vocals galore.
All is extremely polished, breezy and smooth, perfectly recorded & mixed. There’s a (great) lively feel all over which benefits the record. According to Fabio Puglisi, most was recorded live in the studio with few additional takes and overdubbing.
If you like the new wave of European Westcoast / AOR (I love it) in the vein of Ole Borud, Ulf Jordal, Andreas Aleman, Stefan Gunnarsson, Houston – all featured here on the blog – but also classic stuff like Airplay, Jay Graydon, etc, Soul Basement’s “Behemoths” is a mandatory listen.
01 – I Want You
02 – We Travel Fast
03 – Daily Bread
04 – Eveytime You’re There
05 – If You Wanna Love Me
06 – Move On
07 – Ordinary Days
08 – Close To You
Fabio Puglisi: keyboards, synths
Glenn Bidmead: vocals, arrangements
rest of personnel unlisted
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