Before I was given this album I’d never heard of Stone Foundation, but now I’m absolutely hooked. Formed way back in 2004 by two great musicians from the Midlands, both called Neil, Stone Foundation have proved themselves to be an extremely hardworking band and their seventh album Street Rituals is a homage to just that. This time around, they have some help from the one and only Paul Weller, who produced the record and has an instrumental input on some of the tracks.
This record oozes spirit; I feel uplifted just listening to it! On the intro track we hear Weller’s first appearance, and his musky tone contrasts beautifully with Neil Jones’ smooth milky voice. This song sets the tone well for the rest of the album with catchy lyrics and groovy guitar lines. This album has a strong disco feel – these guys have really nailed it. The piano part in ‘Limit Of A Man’ really gets you clicking your fingers and, alongside the meaningful lyrics, it really gives you a sense what these guys are all about.
The second song that Weller is featured on – ‘Your Balloon Is Rising’ – is a great shift in mood. We hear Paul sing first in this song, reminding us how incredible his voice is, taking you back to the Style Council days.
This album is great, and I’m not just saying that, it is GREAT. It will make you feel sad, happy – like you could do anything! If soul music isn’t really your cup of tea then I strongly suggest you get this album, it’ll change your mind straight away.
Street Rituals is out 31 March via 100% Records.