Mark E, We Could Love

Image by Yöshi Sodeöka

[Needwant Recordings]

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Mark Evetts waited quite some time before moving into from-scratch production — five years, or thereabouts. Up until last year’s Stone Breaker LP, you see, the Englishman’s work was always sample based. Listening to We Could Love, which forgoes these building blocks, I’m certain this half-decade wasn’t spent in vain. Both musically and technically, Evetts sounds accomplished, if nothing else. He demonstrates a vice-like hold on house’s fundamentals, bass in particular. In the instrumental version of “We Could Love,” the relaxed low end underpinning the entire track is so memorable that barely anything else is needed; a point some producers might miss. But here Evetts shines, adding only warm, protracted chords to the mix. There’s nothing superfluous in sight.

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Whether the same could be said for the vocal mix is debatable. It features Robert Owens, whose voice was once the equivalent of solid-gold trim. These days, however, he seems ready to work with anyone, on any old thing. Over-exposure is not the problem here though. It’s just that his crooning seems to obscure the music, rather than accentuate it. At best, it’s distracting; at worst, redundant. More than that, neither the spoken verses nor the sung chorus are overly memorable.  A club sing-along “We Could Love” is not — but maybe that’s a good thing. Like April’s “Oranges,” it operates comfortably as a classy slow-burner, rather than a hook-heavy anthem.

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