The Down Tempo

The set was put together months ago. Yet when I went to play it for a new Sunday Slowdown post, it didn’t move quite right. After a little-a lot!- of tweeking, I came up with a down-tempo/electronica hybrid. As I put it together, I thought again about how R&B purists define “soul music” and as a site designed primarily for R&B fans, I’m not sure how this will go over.

There are sure to be a few recognizable names for those who push themselves to the margins of R&B, and are willingly to embrace a more elastic definition of “soul”. To me, there is something soulful about each track, although I’m under no illusion these artists will ever get “Quiet Storm” play.  It’s another dinner conversation about “soul music”, racial authenticity and who gets to cross/over the velvet ropes into R&B and soul music. In the coming year, I hope to introduce more music that invites a discussion about musical gatekeepers, rhythm signifiers and soul music personas.

In the mid-Atlantic, the weather is warm and the sun is slow to set. Tonight, it’s strictly chilled champagne.


Secret Box (Four Goes)/Ain’t No Sunshine (Emily King)/The First Taste (Fiona Apple)/A Moment with You (George Michael)/Here I Come (Blue Six)/Lover (Sweetback)/My Own Private Sunday (Tuomo)/My Torture (Esthero)/When My Anger Starts to Cry (Beady Belle)/Ghosts (Lewis Taylor)/The Hurting Time (Annie Lennox)/Never Be Mine (Kate Bush)