Birth of a Movement – Wembi (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

There is an art to the musical hook. It is also important to know that the hook in question doesn’t have to be a quick hit or a repetitive, killer riff. That works for sure but Birth of a Movement shows that Wembi understands how the longer game works as well, providing as it does, a slow burning build and the gradual seduction of the listener. Yes, it starts in fairly familiar territory, clubland beats, a blend of R&B and pop providing the drive and energy, a soulful vibe smoothing things off nicely but it is the gradual musical inclusions and additions that really set this apart from the pack. And he is in no rush to get to the pay-off, instead he teases with beautiful repetitions, soothes through hypnotic grooves and only when he decides you are ready does he up the sonic game.

Soulful piano joins the musical fray, staccato classic violins drive through, Mariachi-esque trumpets soar above the beats and over-driven rock guitar gets the song to its final destination. And then in complete contrast to its slow, smouldering evolution it drops out leaving you craving more.

Destined to be a festival rave-fav, a clubland classic or even just some cool music to fill your house with, Birth of a Movement is a great calling card for the album it calls home, Perspective, an album which wanders happily across any and all generic demarcations from Neo-soul to world-infused pop, from piano ballads to up beat chart challengers and everything in between.

But as my first taste of Wembi’s music, I have to say that I’m glad I found him. It’s smart, deftly constructed and toys with and teases the listener wonderfully, proving once and for all that the phrase “you can’t always get what you want, you get what you need,” is still relevant. Wembi isn’t playing the usual pop game, he’s not pandering to the punters expectations, he’s writing his own rules and the result is nothing short of fabulous. Defiantly on my “one to watch list.”

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