The Soul Rebels

Rebelution

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    7
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AllMusic Review by

The shtick here is that the Soul Rebels are a brass band in the venerable New Orleans tradition, except that they play hip-hop and R&B. It's one of those fusion experiments that could easily go either way, ending up either as a brilliant bouillabaisse of complementary musical ingredients all mixed up in a clever new way, or a stinking pagaille of mismatched elements fighting each other for space in a crowded, chaotic musical brew. To the Soul Rebels' credit, this album is very much more the former than the latter, and when things don't work out so well, they mainly disappoint only by being more pleasant than interesting. The highlights are the songs that bring together the strongest flavors: the funky and discursive "Let It Roll," the gospel-hip-hop fusion of "Change My Life," the rapturous "Disco Tech," the reggae-inflected "Rebel Revolution." The less inspiring moments come in the disappointingly generic skankiness of "Get Freaky" and "Spend Some Time" and in the boring instrumental "They Don't Know." Listen to the whole thing through, though, and the great substantially outweighs the mediocre. Recommended.

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