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Anti-

Curtis Harding – If Words Were Flowers

$39.00

Anti-

Curtis Harding – If Words Were Flowers

$39.00

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Curtis Harding makes music that exists in both past and present. He's proudly informed by vintage soul and R&B sounds of the 1960s and '70s while showing love and respect for contemporary hip-hop and possessing a mindset that's tuned into the world in 2021. Harding's first two albums, 2014's Soul Power and 2017's Face Your Fear, were outstanding works that confirmed he was as talented as anyone in the retro-soul community, with the addition of a visionary outlook and songwriting skills that set him apart from his peers. Harding's third LP, 2021's If Words Were Flowers, finds him going from strength to strength, with a set of tunes that deliver an emotional impact while finding him continuing to stretch his musical boundaries. The rich bass, echo-laden guitars, and layers of percussion are familiar from his previous releases, and Harding and producer Sam Cohen have added lush string and horn arrangements and massed vocals on several numbers that boost the atmospherics, reinforce the psychedelic undertow of the melodies, and give the music a feeling of thematic unity that adds to the effectiveness of the material, individually and as a suite. Much of If Words Were Flowers was written and recorded during a time of unrest and uncertainty in the United States, and without calling out specific political and social themes by name, it plays very much as a product of its time, with Harding using love as a metaphor to discuss human understanding and compassion as well as its absence (especially on the cool but impassioned "Where Is the Love"). The arrangements often nod to the conscious funk and soul anthems of the late '60s and early '70s, both in their taught grooves and the mingled moods of hope and confusion. And Harding continues to impress as a vocalist, delivering strong, authoritative, and perceptive performances on all eleven tracks. Harding drew the title If Words Were Flowers from the old saying that you should give flowers to those who matter in your life while they're around, not after they're gone, and this music is a gift to a world in need of some loving care; it's never sappy but offers a message of spiritual succor to those who need it, and it's a great, rewarding listening. – All Music

Label: Anti- – 7691-1

Format: Vinyl, LP, Album, Gatefold

Country: USA & Europe

Released: 5 Nov 2021

Genre: Funk / Soul

Style: Psychedelic, Soul