Skip to content

“Down,” Sam Huber’s New Album, Reviewed

Sam Huber
Sam Huber’s “Down”

 

“For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction,” said Sir Isaac Newton, the man who ‘discovered’ gravity. In other words, what goes up must come down, while it’s also difficult to see the ups in life if we ignore the downs: ups and downs are part of life, and part of art. Sam Huber has perfectly understood this with his two latest releases since the new albums which are now populating his soulfully funkified universe are titled “UP” and “DOWN”– in an incidental Newtonian twist, Huber has already had an album called “Gravity-Insanity.”

Even though the Finnish artist didn’t intend on having the project to be a double album, “DOWN,” which features plenty of funky tracks, is his latest work and the follow-up/companion album to the recently released and more soul-oriented “UP.” Twin doesn’t necessarily mean identical: “DOWN” doesn’t have the vintage quality of “Up,” and if it promises a darker approach, it’s far from being depressing music: it’s not because you go down that you should escape the fun and the funk. “‘DOWN’ is where you get Down,” Huber notes. “It’s a landscape that happens on the dance floor, on the downbeat. You might say this album explores the darker side of Future Funk; it’s quite a bit heavier, musically and lyrically, especially compared to the more lighter and romantic songs on ‘UP.'”

The nine tracks, that Sam Huber describes as “Future Funk,” put a post-modern spin on the fundamentals of funk while sounds and beats are earthbound and interstellar all at once. That’s why no one should expect an album of classic funk. This is a more challenging approach but still accessible while blending musical touchstones from the ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s with modern elements that belong to hip-hop rhythms, trap beats, and beyond. And if you wonder how a white man from Finland’s Helsinki could accomplish that, you have to know that Huber has had a sustainable music career for 24 years and is a star in his country. After listening to a few songs, it is clear that his flexible but mostly deep baritone perfectly fits into the genre.

Over the course of nine numbers, the Nordic soul maestro gives us an impressive demonstration of his powerhouse as a singer and songwriter, with the help of his producer/frequent co-writer and Brooklyn-based Tomás Doncker. Backed by the ever-present True Groove All-Stars with special co-conspirators Bill Laswell and original funkateers Michael “Kidd Funkadelic” Hampton and Amp Fiddler along for the ride, Huber and Doncker are exploring possibilities that were still unearthed, excavating a new world of grooves that go from only a star-shaped pair of sunglasses away from being a lost Bootsy Collins track, to the dance floor, outer space and back.

Opening track “Trespassing on the Surface” sets the tone with a touch of weirdness, unexpected soul-funk textures, and Huber’s monumental voice. “I’d Rather Be” is a sweaty-hot dancefloor, while the logical follow-up, “Be with You,” has a lot of horn-fueled old soul with a multi-voiced warm chorus, digging deep into grooves. The funky bass lines and grooves have a constant presence on the album, like on the Prince-reminiscent “You’ll Survive,” which probably has one of the most daring electric guitar solos of the album. The Bowie-sque “Straight in Your Eyes” – although this is not the only song of the album that plays with Bowie’s somber tones and accents – showcases Huber’s deep baritone, which exhibits a large range, even going to falsetto throughout the album. “My destiny,” laments Huber during another funky number while “Love Joy” marches to more industrial beats in a Prince-meets-Depeche-Mode track. “Hit It and Quit It” is an exercise of hypnotic funky psychedelia, while the track “Friends” ends the album on an optimistic note.

In spite of the previous references to Bowie or Prince, “Down” is not a nostalgic album. As a matter of fact, Sam Huber calls it “a time machine but with a modern twist.” The album has a fearless hybrid sound that never feels forced while it defies categories with a bold attitude. Every time you try to class it either in the funk or the soul box, it escapes with a twist, rearranges textures and beats while breaking boundaries between genres. Meanwhile, despite the dark themes in the lyrics – the pandemic, climate change, alcoholism, co-dependency, and depression – the music is uplifting and will make your body move at any detour.

“Down” is available for streaming on Spotify and Soundcloud, and, in a truly old-school Funk move, it will be released with “UP” as a double vinyl LP called “UP & DOWN” on New York City’s True Groove Records next year.

Leave a Comment





Amazon_Smile_logo
LET-ME-HELP-LOGO

Support Let Me Help Inc by shopping at smile.amazon.com

The Daisy Jopling Band To Perform “Who’s Who” At The Transfiguration Church In Tarrytown, NY Sunday May 12th, 2024 7 PM ET

By admin | May 9, 2024 |

The Transfiguration Church in Tarrytown, New York Presents “Who’s Who”, original violin arrangements of iconic songs by The Who performed by the Daisy Jopling Band featuring the Sleepy Hollow High School Chamber Orchestra on Sunday, May 12th, 2024. Location: Transfiguration Church 268 South Broadway Tarrytown, NY 10591 United States Tickets are $25 and can be…

Cyborg Drummer/DJ DRMAGDN Headlining Montauk Music Fest

By admin | April 9, 2024 |

Major Label BMG Records Artist & Producer DRMAGDN Cyborg Drummer / DJ will be making his Montauk Music Fest debut this year in May. DRMAGDN will be the Official Host & MC of The Montauk Music Fest plus play headlining sets on Friday 5/17 and Saturday 5/18 from 10pm-12am at Gurney’s Montauk Resort (290 Old…

RED CARPET EVENT @ Chelsea Table & Stage 4/12/24 Featuring THE AMERICAN RELICS & DRMAGDN

By admin | March 25, 2024 |

On Friday April 12th, 2024 beginning at 6:30 pm ET  there will be a Red Carpet event pre-show sponsored by Tribeca Records at the trendy nightspot Chelsea Table and Stage located in the heart of Chelsea at 152 west 26th street (inside the Hilton Fashion Hotel) in NYC. The Red Carpet will be followed by…

Live Review: Composer Randy Edelman Live at Chelsea T&S “2nd Annual St. Patrick’s Day Massacre” 03/16/24 and Record Release in NYC

By admin | March 17, 2024 |

There was an infinite vitality of velvet green flowing deliciously through the air as Composer Randy Edelman presented his 2nd Annual St. Patrick’s Day Massacre at the trendy new nightspot Chelsea Table & Stage in the heart of NYC on March 16, 2024….. a vivacious close to the spirited Irish Parade. His music is the…

DRMAGDN: Cyborg Drummer/DJ Debuts @ Chelsea T&S With Retro 80’s Party & Red Carpet Event 4/12/24

By admin | February 29, 2024 |

BMG recording artist, producer and World renowned, Global Touring Electrifying Powerhouse, DRMAGDN: Cyborg Drummer and DJ will make his debut at the popular, trendy night spot Chelsea Table & Stage (located at 152 west 26th street inside the Hilton Hotel) on  Friday April 12, 2024 @ 9:00PM. DRMAGDN will be celebrating his high energy brand of Electronic Dance Music (EDM)…

Going Steady: New Singles 2-23-24- 2-29-24 Reviewed

By Iman Lababedi | February 26, 2024 |

dance pop, gooey confection

US Top Ten Albums Tracking 2-16-24 – 2-22-24

By Iman Lababedi | February 26, 2024 |

75K EAUs is abysmal

Our Friend Tony Orlando’s Farewell Tour

By admin | February 25, 2024 |

“I still hit the ball, I just can’t run the bases!!!”

Sneak Peaks: New Album releases 3-1-24 – 3-7-24

By Iman Lababedi | February 25, 2024 |

contenders for the best punk rock around

Child Bite, Lamb Of God, Pantera At Madison Square Garden, Thursday, February 22nd, 2024, Reviewed

By Iman Lababedi | February 25, 2024 |

A three hours of hard rock, metal not metal, swift, loud, egoless pure metal

Scroll To Top