The Frank Popp Ensemble -Searching For Young Soul Rebels

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 Are you searching for an album to banish the winter blues? To act as manifesto of positive living or just for a good old sing-along ? Then the new album from soul rebels the Frank Popp Ensemble, will fulfil your needs.

The Frank Popp Ensemble is an eight-piece band, lead by founder member Frank Popp. Frank begun a love affair with music at the age of five, in a household playing Elvis and early Beatles. A perfect musical environment for a child. As a teenager he became DJ at the ‘Unique club’ in Dusseldorf, mixing ‘Northern Soul’ with ‘Acid Jazz’.  

Sounds cool to us. It must have been non-stop grooving at the ‘Unique Club.’ 

His next move was obvious, to start making his own music. We are pleased he did. The result is the perfect pop album. An excellent combination of samples, computer sequences with live vocals, organs and guitars. 

The Frank Popp Ensemble sounds like every good pop record should. A homage to the music the group adored. Music that filled their hearts with passion and their mind with optimism.  The album is a hot-pot of inspiration. It is driven by the pop anthems of sixties to the sweating dance floor of the Wigan casino. By psychedelic rock, the rhythm and blues of Chicago plus a mild dose of ‘acid’ and ‘new beat’. 

The album begins with the strutting sound of  ‘Love is on our side’. Listening to this track, you can envisage wall-to-wall dancing in a downtown bar. Where the dark interior offers sex or threat. (The way a good club should be.)  That is followed by ‘Mullet King’, a classic song of love and pain. One that Holland, Dozier, and Holland would have yearned for. 

Then comes the ‘Funky Nasa’ intro of "You’ve Been Gone Too Long" , backed with Aretha style vocals. After those first three tracks, you know the rest is going to be joy to the ears. We also adored the Santana disco sound of ‘Psychedelic Girl’ and the 50’s street gang sound of ‘ Hip Teens Don’t Wear Blue Jeans’.  

There are two interesting instrumentals. The Peter Gunn guitar-riffed ‘Hurry Up’ and the down town anxiety of ‘The Thing Demands’.  The album ends with a stylish soul song ‘Enough’, which would fit perfectly at the end of a heist film. You know the one. Where the beautiful girl drives off in a sports car into the sunset with all the money.  So if Kevin Rowland is still searching for soul rebels, then he may well have found them here.

©Matteo Sedazzari /ZANI
Read 3363 times Last modified on Friday, 08 May 2015 15:54
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