Carlton Jumel Smith
I'd Better b/w Instrumental
From our friends at Timmion Records.
The only cover tune on Carlton Jumel Smith's 1634 Lexington Ave album is not really a cover at all, since it was first cut by Carlton himself already 10 years ago. The sultry 2009 edition of I'd Better that was put out on the short-lived UK Soul choonz label, is a nice piece of programmed mid-tempo modern soul. The new version, now getting a single treatment on Timmion, still sounds miles away from the polished earlier effort.
It starts off with a nice guitar led beat before settling into a sweet Tighten Up groove, a funky road which still has plenty curves to explore, even for Cold Diamond & Mink, who are certainly not lifting water from this particular well for the first time. What remains naturally is Carlton's ultra-soulful vocal performance, and a message of manning up to the max, staying true to your word in front of something divine.
It's not that often you hear a more recent version of a song sounding so that you would think it's the old version. Essentially, what you get is a beautiful piece of crossover soul, with timeless swagger, and an instrumental with soulful legs of its own.