The Sully Band captures the essence of Soul and R&B surprisingly well. Hailing from San Diego and fronted by the electrifying and charming Bob “Sully” Sullivan, the band is simply amazing. Following their single releases in 2021 and 2022, The Sully Band has just dropped its debut album Let’s Straighten It Out. The album consists of 10 songs with a total run time of just under 40 minutes.
Kicking off the album with When The Battle Is Over, we have a track that takes groovy to a new level. Featuring heavy Blues and Soul elements it is quite an exciting track. The guitars are so playful with a bit of ragtime piano reminding me of musicians you find in dive bars. Featuring the brilliant Rebecca Jade, When The Battle Is Over has great vocal layers. The horns add beautiful contrast, mostly because they’re toned down instead of the star of the song. This playful nature continues into Hallelujah, I Love Her So. It’s a combination of Lounge, Soul, Blues and R&B that works so beautifully together. Your foot instinctively starts tapping to the music.
The Sully Band shows incredible versatility in tracks like Ice Cold Daydream and Nothing From Nothing with so much dynamism. The tracks make quick shifts and sound extremely fun. Additionally, they have this funky, electro-swing vibe that just courses through you. However, at the same time, the band creates tracks like I Wish It Would Rain and If I Could Be Sure. These songs showcase just how vast The Sully Band’s range is. From creating tracks that are playful and fun to creating introspective and emotional tracks, there’s nothing these guys can’t do. I am, simply, in awe of how great this group is. Their debut album is absolutely killer and not many artists can boast that. A lot of credit must go to the band, but it would be wrong to leave out Chris Goldsmith and James East who produced and directed the album, respectively.
Gimme Little Sign is yet another track that showcases this range. The track has this Jackson Five and Marvin Gaye vibe that soothes the soul. You will recognise it the second you hear the first note. It’s the kind of track that you can just sit and listen to with whomever and vibe. It works similarly to Otis Redding and Stevie Wonder when they serenade you. Similarly, you find a more funky version in If You Love Me Like You Say. It brings back elements from the more playful, funky tracks we heard at the beginning of the album. I think the guitar solo really does it for me in this track, though. It’s so electric and goes extremely hard.
Getting to the titular track on the album, Let’s Straighten It Out, we have a strong 80s vibe going on. It’s a groovy, vibey little piece that slows everything down. While it tugs on your heartstrings, it also has a sense of comfort and resonance that protects you. It’s a rather cathartic track that can heal your soul. It speaks of relatable relationship issues that a lot of people can relate to. What’s ironic is that it talks about bad communication while communicating perfectly how it feels.
Ending the album on Higher And Higher was a brilliant decision. It feels like the perfect resolution after the emotional rollercoaster. The musical direction on this album has been world-class and it is no wonder why James East has won Grammys. It’s like the album has been the perfect composition from tonic to tension to release to tension and finally back to the resolute tonic.
Be sure to stream Let’s Straighten It Out today!
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I listen to and make silly noises while analysing why people behave the way they do.