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'Love Songs: Part Two'

Romare’s musical approach has always been a very distinctive one. Not just because he pools from old blues, gospel and lo-fi African samples but also because of the way he grapples with the samples themselves — extracting a raw energy that many would miss. Take, for instance, the opener ‘Who To Love?’ with its slow pace and subtle hint of a Houston swagger.

It’s clear from the off that Romare is more comfortable than ever making club-ready music with this new release. The lead single ‘Who Loves You’ with its four-to-the-floor grooves, is a perfect example of Romare combining his live, organic sound with something just slightly more muscular. ‘Come Close To Me’ is a standout with its garage-esque percussion and climax of layered vocal samples, while ‘Honey’ is another that is lifted right at the end by some unexpected melodic elements.

This record is at the same time all about love, following on from one of his first EPs (you guessed it: ‘Love Songs: Part One’). It might seem an odd choice to gloss over his hugely successful most recent album and instead pick up on a theme explored years previous but Romare certainly makes it work. Whether this album is better than 2015’s ‘Projections’ becomes irrelevant — this is not that.

With ‘… Part Two’, Romare sets out to bring in elements of his distinct sound from across his career always combining it with something fresh and invigorating. The fact that all of these elements come together into such an approachable and restrained album is quite impressive.

8/10

Words: Jack Dolan

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