How can a relationship remain stable when the odds can only see it as its personal dartboard? Better yet, how does one even survive the cacophonies of today’s living? Tackling the chaos and disorder with plausible solutions channeled through a strong dosage of “grown folk music;” Aja Graydon and Fatin Dantzler, better known as, Kindred the Family Soul, returns with their fourth and latest release, Love Has No Recession.
“Baby are you still with me?”
The mid-tempo bouncer, “We All Will Know,” is the first full-length song that we encounter here. The highlight features writing and vocals from crooner, Raheem DeVaughn, and contains sociopolitical undertones that show up in different places throughout this effort. In the same vein, “Take a Look Around,” expresses a myriad of changes within our world amongst the backdrop of weeping strings, pulsating drums, and an MLK audio extraction. Featured guest, Bilal, is a perfect fit for this particular track, while Fatin ditches the smooth vocal approach to deliver a more grunt style more fitting to the song’s subject matter. “What will happen when it’s everyman for himself?”
Changing lanes, “You Got Love” is the first of many great songs presented for couples. Snoop Dogg is a more than appreciable compliment to song’s laidback tone. The delightful, “Magic Happen,” is about an unconditional love surviving the rain and floods of the physical world. The cut incorporates fine instrumentation as the strings, horns, bass, and drums all work together with precision to deliver grand gesture of sonic appeal. “Authentically You,” is a hard-hitting, 1960s Motown-influenced number that challenges the listener to look at one’s self to see, “How much love are you showing?” Another standout, “SOS (Sense of Security)” is about overcoming the insecurities that may arrive in one’s relationship. “Baby, are we still good?” The dreamy, “Sticking With You,” is a decent cut that doesn’t seem complete, while “2 Words,” for many, may be one of the greatest slow jams that the group has produced, thus far. Here, the duo offers us a straight up, no holds barred, make-up sex groove, complete with synth-bass for those ready to call it a night. The opening fifteen seconds is enough to make one’s ears perk up, and the track is one of the best cuts on the album, hands down (and that’s saying a lot, since the release is packed with many good ones).
The celebratory, “Going To the Go-Go,” is another one of Love has No Recession’s crowning moments. Featuring legends, Chuck Brown and DJ Kool, the piece contains a great change that comes with the chorus that’ll guarantee some head-nods and stank-faces. It’s such a great and fun moment that just seems to end too soon, leaving the listener wishing it were longer. “Above Water” is a three-part series of short spoken-word pieces that are all great, but they too end right as the listener starts to get into them. All three cuts serve the specific purpose of guiding the listener through the messages of the project. But would one extra minute to each and a two-minute extension to “Going To the Go-Go” hurt? Aside from the yearning of a few tracks being extended, one’s only other gripe may be with the sequencing of the album’s intro, “The Sheddington.” This instrumental jam is cut in two and also serves as an outro; however, the cut just seems out of place as an intro (maybe the composition could’ve been left whole and placed somewhere in the middle, while extending the Ursula Rucker piece, “Above Water Pt. 1,” polishing its instrumentation, and making it the intro).
The album features sixteen tracks, including an intro, outro, three short spoken-word pieces, and more club-friendly remix to “You Got Love.“ The latest outing can possibly be ranked somewhere in between their debut, Surrender to Love, and the underrated follow-up, In This Life Together.
The songs presented on this great album speak of a higher love beyond the mere lust of worldly materials. And, although the album’s atmosphere sweetly scours over social instability and political scandals/inequality, the tandem is extremely careful not to give us too much of one type of song without a break. The message is undoubtedly clear: seeking and sustaining love in the midst of all the troubles that man may fear is the only way out of the world’s turmoil. Through sickness and health, there’s no surviving without love.
“There’s no foreclosure on this home.”