Review: Corner Soul – Instant Gratification

First of all, if you haven’t heard of Lowell’s own Corner Soul, stop here, visit corner-soul.bandcamp.com, download everything that’s available (name your own price, I encourage you to be generous) then come back here and let me tell you all about their latest release.

Strong work, you’re going to enjoy that.

Corner Soul has been gaining speed for a few years now. I first encountered them while working the door at UnchARTed. A loyal fan base filled the room to witness a serious experience of style, energy, movement, and groove. I was instantly intrigued. It’s no surprise that their live performance completely justifies their studio work.

Instant Gratification, Corner Soul’s latest release, came out on March 16th, 2019. Twelve tracks that clock in at 32:04. It’s easy to listen to this album multiple times in one sitting. You’ll know exactly what you’re getting into after listening to the first track “Water”, which is to me says “buckle up, the next half hour is going to make you want to dance and do intimate things”.

This well mixed production features the writing, soulful vocals, and overall quality musicianship of Tom O’Donnell. He knows what he’s doing. I am completely removed from the knowledge of how long it took to write and record this album, or who all was involved beyond Tom, but I can say with confidence that the final product is impressive.

Start to finish Instant Gratification tosses you expansive vocal stacks, thoughtful percussion movements, airy synth patches, and sneaky bass lines reminding you that funk is alive and well. I don’t know how many times Tom’s voice has been compared to David Bowie’s, but really… you’ll see. The intelligent, well placed, and total complimentary use of samples needs to be mentioned, they really tie this piece together.

Corner Soul has managed to capture the best of my favorite genres from the 60’s to present day with this album. In a perfect world, the right setting for listening to Instant Gratification would be drifting in a hot air balloon above an expansive cityscape in the early hours of a warm Summer evening. If you have access to such a luxury, let us know how it goes. Otherwise, do yourself the favor and experience this album start to finish at your earliest convenience. You won’t regret it.

Instant Gratification is found on all major streaming platforms, and can be downloaded from corner-soul.bandcamp.com. Key tracks include “Keeping up” and “Take Control of the Wheel”. Keep your ears to the ground for whatever Corner Soul puts out next, I know I will. – Seth Rohrer