Upon hearing the first few bars of Seven Ways To Wonder, you suspect Oli Lazarus and co. have omitted a couple of words from this album’s title. Seven Ways To “Be Stevie” Wonder might be more apt, seeing that the percussive opener resembles the Motown legend’s work (circa mid ’70s). The song sets the tone to a CD that, at times, borrows much from yesteryear. Just listen to Amazing. It could be a come-back single by Atlantic Starr; the only thing missing from this retro cut is a tub of Jheri curl. Ditto Ordinary Man. It’s a dead ringer for Steely Dan, only Mike Patto replaces Donald Fagen’s vocals. If Starr and Steely don’t set pulses racing, then Outta Love or Rise & Fly might, both being less wedded to the past. The former features a beautiful string arrangement that swirls over light broken beats, while the latter is a dreamy soul ballad. The presence of Stevie is never too far away, however, especially on It Will Be, a summery jaunt of such flair and finesse that it begs the question: why can’t Mr Wonder make records like these anymore?
[one_half]Reel People’s So Amazing video