When American urban-contemporary radio was bombarding its listeners with one Guy
clone after another in the late '80s and early '90s, British neo-soulsters like Soul II Soul
, Lisa Stansfield
, and the Chimes
offered highly creative and gutsy alternatives. With influences ranging from Chic
to hip-hop to African music, Soul II Soul
's debut album, Keep on Movin'
(titled Club Classics, Vol. 1
in its original British incarnation), was among the most rewarding R&B releases of 1989. Soul II Soul
leader/producer/composer Jazzie B
takes one risk after another -- all of which pay off. The group enjoyed major hits with the Chic
-influenced gems "Keep on Movin'" and "Back to Life" (both of which feature the gifted Caron Wheeler
), and equally superb are the African-influenced reflections of "Dance" and "Holdin' On," the soulful grit and intensity of "Feel Free," and the hypnotic house music of "Happiness." Though Wheeler
was Soul II Soul
's best-known singer and went on to enjoy a career as a solo artist, Rose Windross
(both expressive soul divas) also do their part to make Keep on Movin'
the artistic triumph that it is.