The Lovers Key

Here Today, Gone Tomorrow

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If Christopher Moll and Maco Monthervil of the Lovers Key were less scrupulous and/or more greedy, they would have released their debut album, Here Today Gone Tomorrow, in the form of a stack of pre-weathered singles marketed to fans of rare Northern soul; at their best, the Lovers Key can put together tunes that capture the sound and the feel of vintage R&B with impressive accuracy, even as they add a subtle undercurrent of contemporary pop to the production and arrangements (which appear to substitute synthesizers for actual horns). Monthervil's voice is an ideal vehicle for these polished smooth soul confections, with just enough force to make the emotions felt while staying cool enough to not sweat through his cool duds too quickly. Meanwhile, Moll's musical backings hark back to the stylish but emphatic sounds that emerged from New York, Chicago, and Detroit in the '60s, and while there's a bit more polish on these tracks than one might expect from authentic vintage material, the melodies are well within the ballpark and the interplay of the percussion and keyboards is enough to fill a dancefloor just about anywhere. And just when you think these guys are just out for good times, the melancholy "Do You Still Think of Me?" and the whisper-quiet closer "Another Night" show up to remind listeners that the Lovers Key have more than one trick up their sleeve. The Lovers Key may not be the most authentic or grittiest act on the retro-soul scene, but they sure know how to write a good song and put it across, and Here Today Gone Tomorrow is a clear winner that's suitable for dancing, listening, or simply hanging out.

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