The Mighty Soulmates is a towering early 90s project from the legitimate super group of André Cymone (bass player with Prince), St. Paul Peterson (guitarist with The Family and Prince), Mic Murphy (of Sass and The System fame) and Gardner Cole (writer, producer and musician probably best known for his work with Madonna). The sound is a majestic blend of sophisticated funk, emotional R&B, New Jack Swing flava and slick deep soul.
These should-be legendary sessions have been almost a secret since they were recorded back in 1993. The first Be With knew about the project was whilst working with Mic on some Sass re-issues and he told us he had something else we might be interested in hearing.
This EP represents the sound of four incredibly soulful, talented, and influential (soul)mates jamming together over one long hot summer and weaving pure sonic magic.
The feel-good dancefloor dynamite of “I Wanna Be The One” is the explosive opening track. A piano- driven, groove-laden blast of yearning deep-pop, with perfectly delivered soulful vocals and an unmistakable “early 90s” sound. Indeed, fans of Eddie Chacon’s old group will dig this for days. “Back In The Day” has a timeless swing and swagger, the lyrics reminiscing about the halcyon streetlife of the Soulmates’ youth, about Curtis, Superfly and innocent days gone by, about hustling with friends. Yet more spine-tingling vocals over yet another perfectly produced musical backdrop. Stunning.
Opening side B, “Blue Tuesday” is the thrilling pinnacle of the EP, at least for us. It’s absolute soulful- pop perfection, and the one we’ve been asked about most after teasing this collection on our NTS show. A soaring beat ballad full of chiming guitars, gorgeous harmonising, falsetto “doo-doo-doo-doo do-do-do-do” backing vocals and a real steppers’ groove. Glide to this with your loved one at the next roller rink party.
Dramatic, purple-hued closer “Private Time” seems to predict the Timbaland-dominated sound of the mid-to-late 90s, all synthetic strings and squelchy, acidic-drum-machine soul. There’s even room for funky piano breaks, vocoder bridges and more cowbell than you can shake a cowbell at. You could just as easily hear Aaliyah vibing over this as much as Mic.