Jazzy beats and the soulful lead vocal of Congaman himself come together to make a slow jam for the ages in “Text-MEE-Baby,” a seductive number from Robert Starks & the Diamondtones Danceband that is reigniting a lot of interest in the music of its dynamic frontman this summer. “Text-MEE-Baby” is stylish, a little flamboyant, and brilliantly pendulous in its swinging, groove-laden percussive pattern. It doesn’t take more than a cursory listen to understand why Starks has become one of the most respected players in his scene over the last twenty years, and moreover, why his work is getting its second wind in 2019 – a year that has been dominated by eclecticisms and poetic experimentalists from one end of the spectrum to the next.
Rhythm is king in “Text-MEE-Baby,” and I think you could absolutely make the argument that the beats tell more of a story than the simple lyrics Starks sings ever could. The timbre of his vocal is warm and rich with a humanizing vulnerability, and though it’s no more textured an element than the bassline is, I don’t know that the hook in the chorus would be nearly as tantalizing were it sung by someone else. This is signature Congaman, and for those who have never had the pleasure of exploring Robert Starks’ discography of diamond-grade arrangements, it’s a great jumping off point in getting to know the man, the music and the pure magic that is his collective works. If the groove in this composition doesn’t captivate you, I don’t know what else would or even could.
The EQ on the backing band is super-scooped in the style of a heavy rock rhythm section, and I think that it makes the instrumental melodies all the more muscular than they already would have been. Physicality is a key component of Robert Starks’ sound, and with the assistance of the Diamondtones Danceband, he’s able to give us the full scope of his abilities in this single without overwhelming us in overdrive or bloated bass parts. He’s one of the more adept composers in his peer group, and his conservative attitude towards the construction of a bittersweet harmony in this song is tangible evidence of his immense skillset. The emerging generation of jazz players could learn something from this cat, and moreover, the means in which he goes about making a record.
“Text-MEE-Baby” is absolutely one of Starks best gems and a must-listen for soul, jazz and R&B fans everywhere this summer. There are a lot of artists in the aforementioned genres that have been trying to make music in the style of this single over the last few years, and though some have been content to chase after a throwback sound, others like Congaman have never stopped evolving, and thus, have never looked back for a second. This is a songwriter who doesn’t have time for recycling the past, mostly because he’s too busy crafting the melodies of the future, all while living in the moment that is today. Robert Starks & the Diamondtones Danceband hit it out of the park with this song, and something tells me that those who give it a spin this August will likely agree.
The music of ROBERT STARKS & THE DIAMONDTONE DANCEBAND has been heard all over the world due to the radio plugging services offered by Musik and Film Records. Learn more – https://musikandfilm.com