Renegades album review – Mark de Clive-Lowe

de Clive-Lowe has made a few tweaks in his life that may have influenced the sound of his ninth album. Having recently moved from London to Los Angeles, Renegades gestated in the City of Angels. That may account for the high-profile personnel, which includes Prince percussionist Sheila E and arranger extraordinaire Miguel Atwood-Ferguson.

de Clive-Lowe is also a new signing to Tru Thoughts, a label based in southern England. That explains why UK label mate Omar has lent his vocals to one of the album’s best tracks, Get Started.

Perhaps not surprisingly, there’s less of the clubby West London feel that de Clive-Lowe’s been linked with. Here, instead, he borrows elements from broken beat and nu jazz to create an eloquent brand of progressive soul that’s eminently more engaging than the current neo soul offerings.

de Clive-Lowe hasn’t, however, abandoned the syncopated beats, as heard on Under Orders and Push, but the nucleus of his sound is the kind of refined mid-tempo outings of Emergency and The Why.

He may have a new home and label, but Renegades‘ sound is vintage de Clive-Lowe.

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