August 4th, 2009 | Album reviews

Download: Vosotros Presents: The Years “Let’s Stay In Love” (feat. Sy Bar-Sheshet)


(from Vosotros Presents: The Years out now)

Vosotros Presents: The Years is a startlingly great project. It plays like a virtual mix tape of modern treasures inspired by the golden days of soul, Motown, funk, hip-hop and even old school electro. This is the kind of album that can (at least temporarily) bridge the giant gap between the casual music listener and the snobbery of the record-collecting elite. In addition to the repurposing of classic ‘60s soul-inspired jams, there are a couple of real ‘90s R&B tinged tracks like “Heartbreaker” (featuring John Robinson) which comes out like an un-ironic ode to the smooth-talking lovesick lyrical style that was a hallmark of early R&B. “in THE crowd” delivers fuzzy, soulful beats and jazzy keys from the back of a smoky ‘60s nightclub, while “Let’s Stay In Love” channels Al Green’s finest dedication ballads. The final decade (and track) “We are Ready” feels a bit out of place in the line-up, but it beautifully careens in and out of earshot, with ambient, electronic harmonies layered over oscillating down-tempo bass rhythms. Best of all, the Years timeline is charted with interludes every three songs or so that appear out of nowhere like a radio dial, channeling the far-off frequency of each moment in time. All in all, it’s a nice trip.

—Camella Lobo