Lowrider – Round The World
Adelaide R&B quartet Lowrider seem to be able to do no wrong, progressing with every step they take. The last record, 2008’s Diamond Amongst The Thieves, broke the band into the mainstream and let the world know what they are capable of.
With their new release, Round The World, the group have confirmed the fact that they are one of Australia’s hottest acts. A certain level of maturity is expected by the time a band reaches their third album, and it is clear that Lowrider move in leaps and bounds, as the song writing and instrumentation on this album is phenomenal.
Opening track Taking Control turns the dial to “party” and lays down a smooth groove, laced with colourful melodies. The music has expanded past the percussion, bass and keys that form the core of the band to include guitars, strings and horns, performed by Alicia Keys’ horn section Chops Horns, which lift the songs to another level.
The up tempo tracks make up the first part of the record with title track Round The World and first single Here We Go incorporating the hip-hop style funk the band are known for. The second half of the record slows the pace down and becomes more soul heavy with vocalist Joe Braithwaite showing the many dynamics of his brilliant voice.
It is in this section that the brightest moment of the record shines, What Keeps You Here, one of Lowrider’s best songs to date, starts with a heavy toned piano and evolves into the most heartfelt and beautiful piece of music on the album. Braithwaite gently sings about dreams whilst backed by perfect harmonies and a soaring chorus. The musical styles also begin to vary as the album progresses, especially in the Latin influenced Just Playing, which includes a flamenco guitar breakdown.
The album was recorded at Adelaide’s Chapel Lane studio’s and mixed by Jason Goldstein (Beyonce, Jay-Z) and mastered by David Kutch (The Roots), both of whom have managed to tighten up the band’s sound whilst making it bigger.
Lowrider are one of the finest acts in this country at the moment, and this is a contender for best Australian release of the year. Their original style is executed so well that it won’t be long until this music actually does take the band around the world.