Quantic x Alice Russell with the Combo Barbaro – Look Around The Corner | Album Review

Following the release of “Sweet Calling” and “Something That’s Real” and an apprecitive segment of music fans awaiting another collaboration from soulful producer Will Quantic Holland and Brighton hailing vocalist Alice Russell, the duo went one further and created a whole album – in the form of Look Around The Corner.

Recorded at Quantic’s adopted home of Cali, Columbia as the product of two sessions beginning in 2007, and made over four years, this is the first full-length collaborative album from the musical soulmates and is well worth the wait. Soul, Latin, blues and Chicago’s Chess Label and Minnie Riperton heavily inspired the two, along with core band Combo Barbaro.  The end result is an intimate, soulful, blues, Latin and gospel and inspired project. 

“I think this was a far more intimate recording experience than anything we had previously done.  In a way, being out in Columbia allowed us to isolate ourselves a little and concentrate on the real essence of what we wanted to accomplish,” Quantic says of the release.

The album opens with the string-infused title track and lead single, with smooth production serving as the perfect canvas for Russell’s strong, beautiful voice.

Other highlights include “Here Again,” with Russell expressing self-doubt and figuring out a solution accompanied by flute courtesy of Lucho Blanco, and “Traveling Song,” on which the two recreate Pentagle’s folk song with a Latin-infusion, also heard with the West Indian “Similau.”

This Latin theme is once again injected into Russell’s favorite song “I’ll Keep My Light In My Window,” originally performed by Caston & Majors.  Whilst this has been covered numerous times by different artists, I think their update is complete perfection as Russell provides a beautiful and flawless vocal performance, making all the lyrics come to live with help from the strings.

The album includes two instrumental songs “Una Tarde en Marquita” and “Road to Islay,” both complementing the album’s Latin-inspired soundscape, whilst  “Su Suzy” brings a salsa-inspiring Latin rhythm and bouncing melody, sombre lyrics contrasting with the vibrant sounds on hand; If your mother had a clue whatever happened to you/ She would’ve broken down and cried for the sins you had to live through/ Su Suzy would you trade it in to be young again and free again.

With near-flawless production and vocals throughout, Look Around The Corner was well worth the wait.  Together, Tru Thoughts Records’ top selling artists have managed to create a project that will be considered a modern classic and remain relevant years down the line. 

Quantic & Alice Russell with The Combo Barbaro – Look Around The Corner
Released: April 3, 2012
Label: Tru Thoughts
Buy: iTunes US / iTunes GB / Amazon.com / Amazon.co.uk