Nicole Willis & The Soul Investigators - Tortured Soul [2LP]




Side A
1 Light Years Ahead
2 Break Free (Shake a Tail Feather)
3 On the East Side

Side B
4 Best Days of Our Lives
5 Time to Get Business Straight
6 Delete My Number

Side C
7 I'll Just Sit and Daydream
8 Tell Me When (We Can Start Our Love Thing Once Again)
9 It's All Because Of You

Side D
10 Now I Can Fly
11 You Got Me Moon Walking

Mainly, the Soul Investigators sound looser than most other recent soul/funk releases, and this live vibe translates particularly well when they start to stretch out on some (almost) jazzy vamps. However, they never get too funky by getting carried away with the groove; the band sounds best working within the framework of the songs.

In addition to the not-too-perfect feel of the recording, all the instruments sound absolutely fantastic. You can hear each instrument in isolation, and this recording definitely gives one the sense that these guys listen to each other while playing. Everybody knows when to come in and when to lay back. In particular, Not sure if we ever heard a better sounding organ and the drummer keeps things simultaneously loose and tight (in other words, the guy's playing is perfect).

As a vocalist, Willis' voice and phrasing are both unique and her willingness to not over-sing adds to the feeling of this being a band that's working in service of the songs.