Despite a drum machine-heavy production style, Urban Life, the second release by fusion supergroup V.I.P. Club, succeeds in no small way due to the organic '70s soul-oriented songwriting by Wolfgang Haffner. Haffner's songs combine the funky, disco-oriented pop melodies of groups such as Earth, Wind & Fire and the Crusaders with a contemporary, European production style not unlike the Brand New Heavies. Although these are primarily instrumental jams, background vocals are heard on a few tracks, drawing out the melodic lines and making for a very listenable session. The tracks also benefit greatly from the presence of trumpeter Till Bronner, whose fuzzy, warm, and lithe tone is reminiscent of Chet Baker and Eddie Henderson. Another standout addition is the trombone of Fred Wesley, featured on the Pleasure-ific title track. Other major guest players include Bob James, Chuck Loeb, and Roy Ayers.
AllMusic Review by Matt Collar