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July 15th 2003

Good to see them back - Earth, Wind and Fire Earth Wind & Fire - The Promise : LP (Kalimba/Relativity)


When you talk about longivity in the music industry, Earth Wind & Fire is one of those who are at the top of the list. The group (originally known as the Sandy Peppers) though considerably smaller than their line up of earlier years, have been given us their brand of quality soul music for the better part of 30 years but now Earth Wind & Fire is back ladies and gents and back with a vengence.

With this their first album of new material in six years, The Promise brings E, W & F's unique style and rhythm that put them ahead of their time in the 70s back to their adoring public in the new mellennium. Although there hasn't been any new material in that time, they have not been sitting idle, the band's been on the road constantly touring with various members putting out solo efforts.

The music on the other hand remains to be the barometer on the bar for the band. With driving force and founding member Maurice White, Phillip Bailey and Verdine White all sounding as good as they did when they first started out, 'The Promise' gives us all that we could hope for - grooving soul music done the E, W & F way.

With help from friends both past and present, the album's first single, 'All in the Way' reunites them with one of my favourite female groups The Emotions some 20 years after their collaboration of the ever-popular dance floor anthems 'Boogie Wonderland' and 'Let's Groove'. Also shining bright as a memento to their signature sound of the 70s is 'Betcha' and 'Never' but the present is well represented as well with the smooth groove 'Wonderland' featuring the lovely Angie Stone

As we all know the band is also well known for their ballads and this album doesn't disappoint with standouts such as 'All About Love', Phillip Bailey's distinctive baritone on "Where Do We Go From Here' and particularly 'Hold me'.

This is an album for the old and the new with a little something for everyone who loves good soul music to enjoy Earth, Wind and Fire hasn't lost the passion or the heart for the music and listeners will appreciate this record purely on it's own merit.

I do recommend you get this disc. It's one for your listening pleasure.

Listen to Earth Wind & Fire's 'All in the way'

Listen to Earth Wind & Fire's 'Hold me'

Sir TY





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