After a long awaited two-decade stretch, Ivan Neville is ready to release his new album, Touch My Soul. With 10 oh-so-groovy, feel-good tracks, this album will be sure to warm your soul and get you moving. As Neville himself said, “Touch My Soul is not unlike a bowl of warm chicken soup, it’s soothing for the soul.” Let’s take a closer look at the pieces of this album.
Right off the bat, the first track “Hey All Together” (feat. Aaron Neville, Bonnie Raitt, Michael McDonald, Trombone Shorty, & Dave Shaw) brings us out of our stiffness and gives us the gift of movement. It has a sweet, nostalgic, feeling to remind you of the good that inspired this track. The feeling carries on as we are then taken right into Neville’s home town of New Orleans. The second track has a classic Louisiana groove with the album’s single, “Greatest Place On Earth” (feat. Trombone Shorty, Ben Jaffe, & Charlie Gabriel). This song has a great jive that captures you right away with the snare drum and horn pops. Trombone Shorty is a great feature to have on this track, as this is the perfect showcase of where that sassy New Orleans horn should be.
The third track, “Might Last a Lifetime ” (feat. Cyril Neville) has a sneaky bossa nova beat, combined with a jazzy synth accessorizing the background which does a perfect job filling the sound. Not to mention, this track features a chorus so catchy you’ll be singing it long after the album is over. Track four brings the groove back with a slick, cool, blues baseline. Among other elements, the guitar solo in “Dance, Music, Love” (Feat. Doyle Bramhall II) adds the right amount of rock elements while keeping it interesting and moving forward. Towards the back end of this track the keys and guitar trading bars really capture the essence of this genre of music.
The next song happens to be the title track,”Touch My Soul”, and it does exactly what Ivan promised it would. This song really hits home and warms you from the inside. It reminds us that the light shines as our guide and the love around us is never gone. Closing with the trumpets in the outro completes the wholesome feeling this song is going for. Going into track six, the groove comes back in and the horns bring out our need to move. It promotes a great message, reminding us that you are the only one who can hold you back from what you really want to do, so don’t wait on anyone else!
The last few tracks are a mix of upbeat ballads, and one more groovy tune that happens to be a fantastic cover of Talking Heads’ “This Must Be the Place”. The harmonies fill the song’s atmosphere with the funk version of this song that you never knew you needed. Leading us to the final pieces. The album closes with very heartfelt vocals in track nine, “Pass It All Around ” and an endearing piano solo to close the record. “Beautiful Tears (Thoughts and Prayers)”, paints an image of gratitude and love. It lets the listener reflect on the uplifting messages Neville reminds us we all have, and to stay reminded of what really matters.
This is a great comeback album for such a staple artist in so many other musicians’ lives. Overall, this album has some great moments that provide us the comfort we often need through song. Seeing Ivan Neville make such a strong return is a great source of motivation itself. The big hit for this record is inarguably the single, “Greatest Place On Earth”. It’s hard to turn down a groove so good you can’t help but dance. With multiple honorable mentions and can’t miss tracks, this record is just what was needed to get Neville back in the game. I hope it inspires in you as much as what it took to inspire him to create this great record.
The Review: 8/10
Can’t Miss Tracks
– Dance, Music, Love
– This Must Be The Place
– Greatest Place on Earth
The Big Hit
– Greatest Place on Earth
Buy the album: Amazon