Liner Note Author: Ady Croasdell.
Illustrators: Dean Rudland; Ady Croasdell; Seam Hampsey; Mal Collins; Tony Rounce.
Ace's fourth volume of selections from the Kent label is, by definition, heavy on rarities. "Modern Soul" refers not to a label but rather an offshoot of Northern Soul, one that focuses on smooth soul and flirts with both the birth and aftermath of disco. Hence, the music on this 23-track collection is not well-known, not by a long shot. There are a few names familiar to soul collectors -- Toussaint McCall and the Pretenders might ring bells for some listeners -- but this is all rare, with eight of the cuts seeing their first-ever release on this 2015 set. Sumptuous sounds and deep, mellow grooves are the attraction here, but that doesn't mean there aren't songs that stick, or powerful performers, either. The writing and performing are the work of solid journeymen (and women), the kind who could show up and meet the requirements of the job. Ultimately, this means there are no knockouts here, but there are plenty of satisfying slices of smooth, deep soul that exist on the edges of Philly Soul and Quiet Storm -- good mood music for lazy, romantic evenings. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine