“The Life And Soul”, produced by Grammy Award winning production team Martin Terefe and Andreas Olsson (named in the Top Ten best pop producers by Billboard this year and noted for success with artists such as Jason Mraz, Train, James Morrison, KT Tunstall and Jamie Cullum), is a revelation in that it borrows a myriad of identifi able influences and yet seems to inhabit a world all of its own.
The opener and fi rst radio single ‘Reconnection’ already proves that this album has more of a rock edge and is more melody driven than its predecessor. Being a song about the after life and reconnecting with your loved ones, it’s also a play on the word reincarnation. Love in all its (re)incarnations is an abiding theme on “The Life And Soul” refl ected in songs like ‘Only One’ (co-written by and featuring Beverley Knight), ‘On A String’, ‘We Make It Look So Easy’ and ‘Sending You A Message’. Elsewhere on the album the writing remains reassuringly enigmatic like ‘Inferno’, ‘Rocket To The Moon’ and ‘Heavy Hands’. The bonus track is the band’s rendition of one of their biggest infl uences – Queen’s ‘Bicycle Race’.
The brandnew album moves the goalposts on what one expects from a contemporary record these days. Lyrically its leaps and bounds above its predecessor and musically it has a cohesion that “Routes To Riches” possibly lacked – a testament to the 5-piece’s 3 years of hard touring and possibly something to do with the fact that you throw your life and soul and everything but the kitchen sink into your fi rst record and maybe just a little bit less of that into your second. “The Life And Soul” is actually the record Mamas Gun always threatened to make - a sonically-rich rock, soul and funk masterpiece that people will be playing for years.