If you were going to list your favorite genres of music, where would soul land? Does soul land anywhere in your top five? Look, no reviewer can tell you what genre you should like. However, when you hear albums like A Higher Place by Diplomats of Solid Sound, it’s hard to justify the absence of soul from your list of favorite genres.
It’s clear right off the bat that this is an album that can get you moving. “Common Ground” opens with the bass, which is quickly joined by the beat that will have you strutting. By the time you hear the lead and backing vocals, you’re completely absorbed. You’ll find plenty of other songs on the album that will get you moving. “Good To Do”, for instance, would fit just as well on a Daptone Records release. The melody is particularly infectious but the lyrics will make you stop and think. The story is that of a woman who won’t let go of a man even though some nights she doesn’t know where he is. If “Move On” doesn’t get you moving, it’s hard to know what will. When you hear this song – even if you’ve never seen the band live – you just know that this is a song that gets people to the dance floor.
Everything about “Sometimes” is irresistible. From the simple organ part to the vocals to the rhythm section and the claps, this is exactly the sort of song that is sure to get stuck in your head. Not that you’ll mind. You could suffer far worse fates than having this song on repeat in your mind.
“Hole in Your Soul” is such a catchy song that you almost don’t realize what a good kiss-off song it is. The vocals hearken back to Motown and the message does too. Some of the lyrics are, “You say you love me, but I talked to Mary Jane. And she says that you’re telling her the same thing.” Later in the song, you hear the narrator sing, “I can see a hole in your soul, and I just don’t know why I can’t let you go.” This is a great song for anyone who’s been done dirty but just can’t get away from the one who did the dirty deed.
This album is filled with fun and vibrant sounds that recall the best of the classic Motown sound as well as the modern sounds of soul. It’s hard to be in a bad mood when you listen to this.