Attentive to the British music scene, I’m always curious to what’s getting airplay in good ol’ Blighty. A rapper, singer and actor, Plan B, also known as Ben Drew is a multifaceted artist who’s gearing up to release his second offering, The Defamation of Strickland Banks.
First off, let’s clearly establish my bias for anything remotely Motown or Amy Winehouse sounding. Since the music scene is brimming with soul-pop-cross-over, “She Said”, can easily pass as another ho-hum track churned à la retro. Blatantly referencing The Zuton’s,”Valerie” in its lyrics, the track still shines with lots of finger-snapping and swaying that Amy Winehouse herself would be quite happy about.
The Defamation of Strickland Banks is a thespian album made for a film that stars Ben Drew. Thus, the record’s retro veneer is Drew in musical character for the motion picture. Having established that, if the release of a crooning alter ego donned in a suit is only a passing musical experiment, I can only wish Plan B would stick around longer as the results are quite phenomenal.
On “Love Goes Down”, the vocals are so impressive, surging of sexy cool, as a song that’s really just about getting it on becomes quite epic. Reminiscent of Marvin Gaye, there’s a heritage to the track, a rare quality found in music these days. Stay Too Long, is a punch of high-spirited mischief. This is the musical standard you’d expect at a pub scene or perhaps an advert for some really good whiskey. Check it out.