The Souls of Singapore pay tribute to the giants of classic R&B in a time of vastly different musical terrain. As such, their new single sticks out like a sore thumb, and the only thing keeping "In a Hotel Lobby" from sounding like a legitimate 60's ditty (which, by the standards of the beep-and-boop-filled music of today, is so incongruous that it sounds positively ancient) is the lack of mono production and some of that warm, magic, analog tape hiss. Now, the track's modern production was a good call: The full utilisation of the stereo spread for the huge number of instruments (The Souls are a 15-piece band, according to their Facebook page) allows the listener to discern with ease who's playing what and where. A 6/8 ballad with a sparse arrangement, "In a Hotel Lobby" shines the spotlight on vocalist Surath Godfery, whose vocal and lyrical stylings call to mind Jon Bon Jovi as much as Marvin Gaye, which is not at all a bad thing. One gets the impression that he means what he's rasping about. His lyrics are simple yet powerful, and communicate the experience of heartbreak by way of repetition and 1st person direct thought. Ultimately, it is fantastic to see a local band with a horn section. Better yet, it's a thrill to know that said band is creating original music that is 100% homage to what they love to listen to and perform, whilst also managing to remain true to themselves. To end on a whimsical (only a little though, very little) note, it is this reviewer's humble opinion that maybe The Souls should have the prestige of penning a National Day song. They're already waving the flag in their namesake, aren't they?
Another great release from this unique Singapore band. Surath Godfrey's delivery is so authentic. Musicianship is impeccable as well.