Various Artists

Free Soul Vibes

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Compiler Toru Hashimoto again borrows the keys to the vast EMI vaults for Free Soul Vibes, one of the more wildly eclectic entries in the series to date. Despite remaining rooted in the singular mixture of funk, fusion, and folk-rock that has defined previous volumes, Hashimoto travels further out than usual, reining in tracks from everyone from blues-rockers the Edgar Broughton Band ("There's No Vibrations, But Wait!") to disco icons KC & the Sunshine Band ("Ain't Nothin' Wrong"). Moreover, there are probably more names here that will appeal to the casual music fan than on any other Free Soul disc, among them hitmakers Bobbie Gentry ("Somebody Like Me"), Nancy Wilson ("If I Ever Lose This Heaven"), and Betty Wright ("Clean-Up Woman"); Hashimoto further makes room for cult icons spanning from Doris ("Beatmaker") to Richard "Groove" Holmes ("I Can't Stop Dancing"). In short, it's another winning collection that acknowledges no boundaries of time or place.

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