Review: Curtis Mayfield - Roots

Post by Otis Hayes - @otherthanotis

Curtis Mayfield is a soul legend and it’s easy to see why when you listen to his music, I mean let’s be honest do you get much cooler than this man? It is certainly a challenge!

"Roots" is the second album produced by Curtis Mayfield and it follows on from his amazing debut "Curtis" with all the style and attitude along for the ride.

Released in 1971 "Roots" opens up with the track "Get down" which immediately has a tribal vibe in the music with panting and whoops heard form vocalists which is driven home when the percussion comes in with bongos and shakers galore! The lead guitar tone sounds as though Carlos Santana set up the amp and pedals himself and the horns drive home that soul/funk sound! The lyrics to this track are simple with Curtis telling you exactly what you should be doing, getting down to the funky music, what an opening to an album full of everything you need!

"Keep on keeping on" comes in and shows us that sweet feeling we know and love in soul music that brings hope within the sadness through its beautiful melodies and stunning backing vocals. The transitions in Curtis’s music are impressive and there is always such a great array of musical instruments used across his albums of which "Roots" is no different.

"Underground" oozes cool and back street sleazy vibes through its funky wah wah effect guitar and bongo filled percussion, this is some of Curtis Mayfield’s best work and essential for any soul/funk music collection.

"Roots" album cover is simple with Curtis dressed in brown looking rather fly yet humble such is the music well arranged and produced to such a high standard but all with humble attitude.

Curtis Mayfield - Roots

The closing track "Love to keep you in my mind"’ is smooth and stunning to say the least and will get the toughest of us thinking about the past.

Curtis Mayfield’s lyrics often tackle problems that still exist sadly today such as racism, poverty and oppression among other things and his lyrics and music preach peace which is ever as important now as it was then, his music will be loved by generations to come, as the record states "we got to have peace"’, cheers Curtis!

Grab your copy now issued for Black History Month on limited edition Orange vinyl here from the new releases section on Boiler Room Records website.

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