With their new album Break Out—the band’s first for Concord Record—Soulive are poised to become the Funk Brothers of the 21st century, turning in a groundbreaking set with a tightness and authority reminiscent of the genre’s boundary-blurring studio legends, from the legendary Motown house band and Stax’s MGs, to the Muscle Shoals rhythm section.
Certainly, many of the album’s fifteen tracks find the trio lending their formidable backbeat to an all-star team of funk and soul luminaries like eight-time GRAMMY®-winning legend Chaka Khan, who struts all over the sultry "Back Again." A take-the-paint-off-the-walls rave-up of the Hendrix classic, "Crosstown Traffic," features sacred steel virtuoso Robert Randolph and Eric Krasno upping the ante with each chorus.
Living Color vocalist Corey Glover powers over the slippery clavinet of Neal Evans on the driving "Freedom." Ivan Neville joins the party for two tracks, the hip-hop-tinged "Got Soul" and the earthy "Take It Easy," as does Maktub’s Reggie Watts, on "She’s Hooked" and the bluesy "What Can You Do."
On other tracks the trio takes center stage, with such standouts as the head-nodding "Reverb" and "Cachaça"—the latter anchored by lilting electric guitar over a salsa groove¯as well as "Vapor," which evokes the chicken-shack grittiness that has been a Soulive trademark.