duke-new“Story”– Paul Bailey –
Global Soul Records

Montreal’s Paul Bailey (born in England) has been a mainstay and a veteran on the Montreal r’n’b scene for over 2 decades.
His music video for “Desire”, as a member of the duo Scandalous, along with partner Dante, was a staple on Much Music and Musique Plus. Bailey has released countless indie recordings and has appeared on several compilations.
His recent publishing deal with Global Soul has brought his music overseas, especially to Asia, as well as to the U.S., as part of television and film projects and video games.
His new album, now available on iTunes, mixes new tracks and remixes older joints with funky results.
“Story” kicks off with the set’s new single “Kiss My Bottay.” It rehashes 80s sexy funk, with Bailey using the lower register of his voice, reminiscent of James “JT” Taylor of Kool & The Gang. The risqué “Kiss My Bottay” is a sparse track with synth string fills that weave in and out funky guitar with programmed hand-claps the reek of early 80s hip-hop. Bailey promises the object of his desire that he will “do it all night.”
The Sava Boric Mix to an older tune called “Find Me Somebody” is almost house meets new wave with a 4 on the floor beat, with Bailey showcasing his falsetto vox with the almost hypnotic refrain of “got to find me somebody” to the point of matraesque.
The auto-tune fuelled “Mystery” has a nice techno groove while “The System” is Euro-beat meets 80s dance with Bailey singing about the dire aspects of modern life. “The system’s got a hold on me for sure, but if they let me go, I’ll show them all I can be.”
The title track is strangely funky with out of tune piano fills and Bailey’s brilliantly overdubbed vocals playing vocal gymnastics with a constant busy groove.
The catchy “Free” with its great chord changes talks about “the evolution of man” with Bailey declaring “we just want to be free.”
The beautiful ballad, “Melody”, is screaming for radio rotation.
While a few filler tracks exist on “Story,” overall this is a great walk down memory lane for 80s r’n’b lovers who love to get busy on the dance floor.
Rating = 7/10