A musical encounter with Cyril Neville is going to involve two basic ingredients: funky Afro-Caribbean rhythms and social protest. In his own way, the youngest of the Neville Brothers is like the folkies of the '60s with his sharp social commentary. The CD Soulo is no exception. He even includes a song from '60s protest poster boy Bob Dylan on the album, though Dylan never played "The Times They Are A-Changin'" like this. The entire recording is infused with the musician's New Orleans heritage of gospel and blues, as this cut exemplifies. Neville makes another political statement in "Another Man," a song about drugs and guns in the ghetto, and the connection to the white-collar types far removed from the inner city who profit from those sales. He suggests recognition that we are all in this together is the "Road to Unity," and that the consequence of ignoring this fact is "No Peace, No Justice." In additional to political statements, Neville stands strong for his own personal queen, Gaynielle Housey-Neville. She wrote the tunes "Another Man" and "Funny Ways." Cyril Neville pays homage to her in "Be My Lady." The song "Can't Stop a Dreamer" may hold the key to the entire recording. One is reminded of the speeches of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert Kennedy, visionaries who saw things not as they were, but how they ought to be. Cyril Neville shares that kind of vision. And you can dance to it.
AllMusic Review by Rose of Sharon Witmer
feat: Jason Neville