For years, The Cinematic Orchestra have been a highly respected and beloved group dominating the UK scene with their fusion of jazz, hip-hop and electronic music and it’s about time they get the love they deserve over here in the US of A. Every Day is one of those rare albums that really showcases their at times simple, yet profound musical ideas in ways that sound fresh and new. This group’s sound is difficult to describe successfully, but is easy to understand. They don’t mess around. They seamlessly weave through moments of high-energy bombastic beats to moments of understated pure aural bliss and back again in the same track. The intent that they write these songs with is at times astonishing, but the way in which they are done is incredibly inspiring and begs repeat listens. Here are couple track highlights off of this album, released in 2002:
The first tune “All That You Give” features R&B legend Fontella Bass singing over a relaxed harp-laden groove. Her deeper voice is beautifully utilized here with twinges of lament and somber purrs, making this track one of the memorable standouts of the album. To top it all off, they sampled the beautiful string motif from the Carlos Santana and Alice Coltrane song “Angel of Air” and masterfully blended it in with great effect here. The track “Flite” is particularly awesome because of its 7/8 time signature (for all you music nerds out there) and the masterful playing of drummer Luke Flowers. This track is explosive and the drumming on the hook of the song is seriously the coolest modern swing groove I’ve likely ever heard. Bask in it.
If you could only listen to one track on this album that exemplifies what they were trying to achieve, that track would be “Man With The Movie Camera”. The sampled beat that they laid down on this is just INSANE and I dare anyone listening to it to not do a slow head nod to it. I dare you. Towards the middle of the tune, the break beat is also enough to make any sane person spazz out, and fast. DISCLAIMER: Don’t drink coffee during this tune. Bonus points because of the soprano sax solo that’s actually palatable.
“All Things to All Men” is another top track because of the highly introspective lyrics of Roots Manuva. The realism and pain he expresses is a call-to-action to humanity as a whole to truly “practice what we preach.” This song is brilliant and really hits home, though admittedly some are not comfortable with the types of brutal truths being put on blast here. Overall, this album is a downright classic and again deserves to be listened to and felt firsthand. The subtleties are stunning; it comes as no surprise that they decided to name it something as ambiguous and ponderous as Every Day.