Cyril Neville

Endangered Species: The Essential Recordings

(World Order Entertainment)

A collection that highlights the artistry and pure soul of this fine vocal stylist. His career began with The Meters and The Neville Brothers and more recently he has toured with Royal Southern Brotherhood.

Opener Love Has Got To Win is a bass-led diatribe with a crystal clear vocal, Mayfield message overtones, neat chorale and horn splashes. Ayiti has a spooky jungle backdrop before a HiLife rhythm kicks in and Neville is testifying, sprinkles of plummy guitar dancing across the beat. Second Line Soca uses percussion to set the scene, with a spoken word intro. An unusual funeral tale ! Choppy horns punch through the arrangement, squeaky keys stab in and out. New Orleans Cookin’ rides in on rich horns and a Fats Domino vibe.

On to Funkaliscious with its emphatic funk lurch, definitely a highlight and a lyric of positivity. Calling All Souls is twilight cool and you almost expect Barry White to appear! An excellent soul piece that for me is the boss cut. More Professor Longhair can only be a Noo Awlins trip, despite the murmering intro. A trippy horn arrangement treads confidently over the clanking piano and subterranean bass. Running With The Secondline employs true second line drumming over a martial pace whilst Lift Every Voice And Sing takes the listener to a pastoral place of gospel hues and light guitar motifs.

The Road To Unity is a beautiful acoustic guitar weave and anti-war words. Things close with Can’t Stop A Dreamer on an unsettling funk tempo and impassioned singing. The ghost of Bobby Womack surely hovers over this beatific soul collection.

Pete Sargeant


Cyril Neville's new album 'Endangered Species: The Essential Recordings' is out now on World Order Entertainment.

You can purchase the album here: