Dobie – The Sound of One Hand Clapping: Version 2.5 (BBE/Magnificent 7)

Dobie cut his teeth as a member of the infamous Soul II Soul crew, before going solo. This album of polished hipped hop and smart soul originally got an outing on Pussyfoot in the late 90s without the necessary support. “The Ride” features Lain Gray, the voice of Wookie’s struggling battle”, and here Lain sounds cheerful, backed by laidback beats and light-footed beats. “Love Song” with Helena Paul is exactly that, where healthy guitars, tender strings and committed vocals hook up. “Way Over” is an ace harpsichord-driven beatless ride, with downcast guitars, teary strings and coping pianos. This seven-year-old album hasn’t really aged and Dobie is up there with today’s homegrown talent. (Jon Freer)

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