Joel Culpepper - 'Sgt Culpepper'

8/10

For fans of Joel Culpepper, this release has been a long time coming. Despite first making a huge impression with his blistering debut EP 'Skydive' way back in 2012, the artist's output since has been consistent yet sporadic. He has remained this cult figure on the British soul scene for nearly a decade, but always through a small and digestible amounts of EP and single releases. But now have a few months of prolific material, Joel Culpepper has now finally delivered his long-awaited debut album 'Sgt Culpepper', a record that perfectly reflects the kind of artist he has always looked to be.

For the last decade or so, we have noticed a larger and larger number of emerging RnB artists look to the 60s and 70s for musical inspiration. And while some simply dabble in the retro grooves of yesteryear, others are forming an identity around it, and this is exactly what we hear on 'Sgt Culpepper'. Strong influences from the likes of Sly & The Family Stone, The Isley Brothers, and Earth, Wind & Fire remain a consistent vibe on this new collection as the frontman channels his inner showman to deliver one of the more lively and captivating additions to the modern soul sound.

Nods to those classic days can be seen and heard throughout this new full-length, but that doesn't mean that 'Sgt Culpepper' is so easily to mistake for one of those older records. Joel Culpepper's sound is so incredibly fresh and modern, he feels like a man raised in that era and transported to ours to reignite the commercial world. A fun and enjoyable release from start to finish.

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