Record of the Week

Galactic “Into the Deep”

Into the Deep”
Mascot Label Group / Rough Trade)

Galactic are what people often refer to as a “legendary band” from New Orleans. In this case “legendary” reads as “not very well known, even though they have been around for a while”. If the first reactions to it are anything to go by, then their latest record will also fail to bring them world-wide fame. There are several fair enough reasons for that, however, all in all that reaction seems unjust.

First of all the reasons why this verdict would be justified: Galactic, who as a band enjoy playing live most of all and exclusively work with guest vocalists, really fail to take the prize style-wise. Their combination of funk, soul music and a little bit of jazz is anything but extraordinary and is merely dubbed “eclectic”, thanks to the few electronic influences and because at times, there’s the odd rap part in there. The only song that could be described as eclectic is “Right On” that due to its actual hybrid energy is remotely reminiscent of Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ “Can’t Hold Us”. Apart from that the soundscapes on offer range from easily accessible and familiar to frankly very dull.

And yet the record is worth your time as some of the songs reach classical magnitude thanks to well exaggerated traditionality. Above all – and by far – worth mentioning is the lustrous title track, which is, as fate will have it, sung by Macy Gray. Just this song alone was worth the revival of soul music. To use a reversed A&R-standard: I’m listening to a hit.

If this belter of a hookline will not soon be featured in at least one blockbuster and sounding from millions and millions of radios, it would certainly make for a tragic misunderstanding in pop history. And, God knows, it would certainly not be the first one.
Jens Friebe

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