British Graffiti6 duo of Jamie Scott and Tommy D have released Colours, their first full studio album after giving fans a taste of their sound with “Stone In My Heart” and “Annie You Save Me” last year. Colours, the new 12 song CD by Graffiti6, is an eclectic funk trip into psychedelic soul that will leave you wondering why Jamie Scott hasn’t dethroned Ryan Tedder as the reigning king of pop soul. But to say Colours is simply pop soul doesn’t do the album or the collaboration between Jamie Scott and Tommy D justice. It’s much, much deeper in substance and style.
To give you some background on Graffiti6 and their musical foundation from two levels, singer/songwriter Jamie Scott learned his musicology from former Jamiroquai keyboardist and co-songwriter Toby Smith while Tommy D has worked with such hit makers as Jay-Z, Janet Jackson, Joss Stone, Kanye West, KT Tunstall, and Kylie Minogue. Throw in the fact that Jamie Scott also learned even more while touring with Alicia Keys and Kelly Clarkson and all of the influences can be heard in the Graffiti6 sound.
But when I said deeper, Jamie Scott has the vocal clarity that equals Ryan Tedder with a subtle hint of the soulful Sam Brown and a dash of Bono. Although there’s nothing on Colours as powerfully bombastic as Bono, there are tracks that prove how Scott can play in the big leagues. And nothing proves that more than the album’s title track, “Colours”, one of the most infectiously beautiful and hyper-aware songs that needs to be on your iPod.
With “Stone In My Heart”, “Stare Into The Sun”, and “Never Look Back”, Graffiti6 steps back in time to the psychedelic 60s to give fans a contemporary blast of Mod-jazz infused soul. With “Annie You Save Me”, fans get a comforting dose of hope as Scott finds vocal solace in the lyrics “Just when I’m finding it hard to breath, you lift the weight inside of me.” In certain spots – like I said about hints of Sam Brown, the powerful background singer of Pink Floyd – Scott actually sounds like Brown when backing himself up. Very, very cool indeed.
Another song, “This Man”, offers a more traditionally inspired blues track with an underbelly similar to “Gimme Shelter” as Scott sings to the sound of his soul. “Goodbye Geoffrey Drake” strips things down to a colorful blend of folky soul while the fun “Stop Mary” picks up the pace in a retro radio friendly manner. To close out the album, Jamie Scott and Tommy D scale everything back to nothing more than Scott’s vocals and an organ with “Over You”, pure 70s inspired R&B that punctuates how Jamie Scott has all of the right ingredients to be the next great soul singer in music.
The only downside of Colours is the frequent use of reverb on several tracks. Not because it doesn’t sound edgy but rather for the fact that Jamie Scott doesn’t need to sell his vocals with anything other than his own voice. It’s that good, really! Colours is easily the best album of 2012 so far and will definitely be in the running for our album of the year.