King Solomon Hicks
'Harlem' Album Review
Release Date March 13th 2020
The 24 year old grew up in Harlem "around a lot of great musicians," he says. The city is synonymous with vibrancy, art and music ever since the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s and 1930s. Situated in Manhattan, New York City, that period saw a creative surge sweep the neighbourhood, which included writer and political activist Hubert Harrison, entertainer and civil rights activist Josephine Baker as well as the rise of legendary jazz players such as Duke Ellington who was one of the early performers at the now world famous Cotton Club.
The Jazz scene was exploding with the likes of Louis Armstrong, Count Basie, Cab Calloway, Fats Waller, Billie Holiday, and Bessie Smith all coming through the city and that was just the tip of the iceberg. Whilst Harlem has been home to the greats such as Al Pacino, the Marx Brothers, James Reese Europe, George and Ira Gershwin, Arthur Miller, Sammy Davis Jr, Sonny Rollins…the list goes on. There’s something in the water there.
'Help Me' brings to a close this excellent release of original, new and old blues that has been put together to give us the public the optimum listening pleasure. This last track really does showcase the abilities of King Solomon Hicks both vocally and instrumentally, and both are top drawer especially for someone still so young.
If you like your blues with a modern twist then this is definitely an album that will fill your boots, as this young man delivers on all fronts.
TFM gives 'Harlem' 4/5, a real pleasure of a listen.
1. 'Rather Be Blind'
2. 'Every Day I Sing The Blues'
3. 'What The Devil Loves'
4. '421 South Main'
5. 'Love You More Than You'll Ever Know'
6. 'Headed Back To Memphis'
7. 'My Love Is Alive'
8. 'Have Mercy On Me'
9. 'Riverside Drive'
10. 'Its Alright'
11. 'Help Me'
'Rather Be Blind' gives us a real uplifting start to this album with a wonderful feel and upbeat tune followed by 'Every Day I Sing The Blues' which is a full on funky blues rendition.
'What The Devil Loves' is a more slow and sultry number but again, still a wonderful and flowing version of a great tune. '421 South Main' is just a boogie woogie infused blues stomp of an instrumental before 'Love You More Than You'll Ever Know' starts as if you had entered an elevator before the soulful and elegent vocals come in and give us a wonderful and beautiful ballad.
'Headed Back To Memphis' is a blues belter with a cool and addictive beat and chorus that you cannot help but move to, great track.
'My Love Is Alive' brings back the funk with this instrumental groove train, while 'Have Mercy On Me' has a full on gospel feel that would guarantee to have everybody up and dancing in an instant. A real hand clapping foot tapping gem.
'Riverside Drive' is another slower and sultry instrumental jam before 'Its Alright' is another slow burner that just grabs you with its easy lyrics and very addictive beat.