Who’s looking for some sweet soul music? Look no further than Bloomington, Indiana’s soul group Durand Jones & The Indications! Their third full-length album, Private Space, is another stellar soul album that will make you sing the songs, groove to the beat and move your feet.[Ok that sounded like “One Step Beyond” a little but I wasn’t trying to do that]
I’ve gotten into a lot of retro soul/neo soul music in the last year or so. No idea why but it’s just the music that I have been gravitating towards. I’ve always been an oldies, Motown fan so it makes sense. I was on the quest to find stuff beyond the late Charles Bradley/Sharon Jones and found Durand Jones & The Indications and some other groups on Spotify. I know the platform sucks at paying artists but it really helps with fans finding new music though. From just getting into the band, I’ve listened to their albums numerous times and just keep craving more. So when I heard they were releasing a third album, it was perfect timing for me.
What I love about their sound is the 1-2 punch from vocalists Aaron Frazer and Durand Jones. The dual vocals just work so well, and their voices offer something different with each track. Aaron just released a solo album this year as well, so the band members have been busy. I guess after being apart and quarantining in 2020, this was a great way for the band to get back and create something awesome. Both singers could front their own bands so having them together creating music is even better.
The first track “Love Will Work It Out” sounds great and lyrically, sums up 2020 pretty well. …”Folks overtaken by disease,” “…Watching modern day lynchings in the streets that I call home I felt so helpless in the strife…” So much to impact in there from those verses. The band’s first single “Witchoo”’ is a stand-out, super catchy beat & chorus that sounds something different than the band has done in the past. I’ve listened to the song repeatedly since they released it. The song is a perfect example of the vocalists bouncing off their styles and it just works so well. It’s groovy, more disco & funk influenced in a way but still has that soul flavor. It’s like a Bruno Mars song but it’s not, if that makes any sense. That sums up this third album pretty much. They venture more into funk and disco and I’m all in.
The title track “Private Space” is a slower tune sung by Aaron, “More Than Ever” is sung by Durand and feels like something that would be played during a love scene in a movie. I really like the upbeat tune “Ride or Die,” which really showcases Aaron’s falsetto style. The group joining for the chorus sounds nice too, and is becoming an earworm for me but in a good way. Of course, when I try to sing the song in falsetto, it doesn’t sound as good. The next track, “The Way That I Do,” is an excellent song! For some reason, I can’t help but think of Michael Jackson or Earth, Wind and Fire. I dig this one a lot! The disco, funk and soul really blend together nicely with that song and might be my favorite after “Witchoo.” The rest of the album has some sweet, slower soul jams like “Reach Out” and “I Can See” in there as well.
What I love about Durand Jones & The Indications and other retro soul bands is that they sound like they are from the 60s and 70s. The soul revival is real, baby! Thankfully for us, the band is just getting going with their third full-length. Gives me a chance to see them live, and watch what the band does in the future. If they continue what they have done for their first 3 albums, I can’t wait to see what they come up with next!
Bottom Line: One of the best bands in the retro soul genre to date!
Notable Tracks: Love Will Work It Out, Witchoo, Ride or Die, The Way That I Do, I Can See