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Album Review: Down to the Lowest Terms: The Soul Sessions by Steve Arrington
Great, Based on 3 Critics
Exclaim - 80 Based on rating 8/10
The last decade has seen vocalist, drummer and funk legend Steve Arrington working with a new generation of artists and producers (his potent collaboration with Dâm-Funk on 2013's Higher, and this year's Thundercat collab "Black Qualls"), who have been reared on Arrington-helmed funk cornerstones. Recorded entirely in the Stones Throw studio with a roster of producers assembled by Peanut Butter Wolf, including DJ Harrison, Jerry Paper, Benedek and Knxwledge, Down to the Lowest Terms: The Soul Sessions affirms Arrington's creative renaissance. The DJ Harrison-produced "Make a Difference" is a deeply bouncy tonic for troubled times.
Steve Arrington is a true funk legend. At age 64, the singer-songwriter and producer is now on his third go-round in the music industry. Following a star-making stint as the lead vocalist and drummer in Slave, Arrington produced '80s hits like "Feel So Real" and "Weak at the Knees" as a solo artist before he left music altogether to become a minister.
Contrary to the look of its cover and its title, Down to the Lowest Terms: The Soul Sessions isn't a bundle of previously unreleased recordings that pre-date Steve Arrington's emergence with Slave. Nor is this set of all-new material overtly retro. Seven years on from Higher, the funk legend's collaboration with Dâm-Funk, he returns to Stones Throw with an album that bears some likeness to a mixtape, fueled by varied (if aesthetically linked) productions from a large, funk-inclined cast.