Album Review: Funke and the Two Tone Baby – Balance

Funke and the Two Tone Baby - BalanceIt’s not exactly a secret that here at Artree we are avid fans of the phenomenal Funke and the Two Tone Baby – admittedly it’s us and thousands more – but with his latest offering Balance he has once again proven to us and the world that our love of his work is completely justified as well as contagious.

Dan Turnbull, A.K.A Funke might very well be the hardest working man in show business. Aside from his constant and increasingly diversified touring schedules he has managed in the last couple of years to produce two feature albums, one EP and one live album. For a man who drives the length and breadth of the country on an almost daily basis it’s shocking that he finds the time to even write anything at all. But thankfully whilst he’s out on the road honing his act to greater and greater highs he’s somehow also managing to create new songs and fill them with new sounds. That is one of the greatest things about Balance; whilst it is the pure embodiment of Funke and the Two Tone Baby it feels as if the sound is somehow evolving and spreading out more fluently into other genres and with great success.

Balance contains everything that you could have come to have hoped would be in a Funke record plus that little bit more. His music is rough, raw and ready; it flows out of the speakers and dominates the room, hurling itself around in a storm of raw energy. Opening with the booming Not Enough Bonobo, a raw and delightfully catchy tune it introduces his unique brand of alt-blues-rock-folk to you (just in case you weren’t acquainted with it previously) and it’s a perfect beginning for a rich and rousing album. A large part of the evolution of his music is down to his propensity to expand on his talents in Balance and take more experimental measures with it. Stepping away in places from his powerful medleys he gives way increasingly to songs that plant themselves more fully in the folk vein, songs such as The Boatman and the Thief and Tales of the Place I Live.

These songs emphasize his expansive talent and versatility allowing his unique musical styling’s to adapt at every twist and turn. The blues element to his music that has always been readily apparent really flourishes in this album as songs such as Not Looking for it Anymore delve into a rich, more stripped-down bluesy sound that is deeply affecting when combined with his emphatic beatboxing. These songs are a stunning contemporary spin on a strange amalgamation of genres that somehow combine to create something new and exciting with every note.

The most incredible thing about Funke and the Two Tone Baby however is the raw, surging power that emanates from his music. The rough blues quality of his songs could almost fool you into thinking that these songs are produced off the cuff – rough, passionate and fiery – but the reality is that if you listen just a touch closer you can hear that each and every song has been polished to perfection. Never is a note out of place, never is a beat out of time and to have the chance to see him live is to understand that this isn’t simply a practice that retains in the studio but it is readily applied live too. Every single one of his songs is produced to an extraordinarily high standard and this is readily audible throughout all of Balance.

Balance is an uplifting, resonant album that is overflowing with catchy riffs, powerful beats and rich, gravelled, whisky-soaked vocals. Funke and the Two Tone Baby is expanding his talent with each and every release. His last feature album Battles was an outstanding piece of work collecting within it a series of outstanding tracks and topping them off with some superb tracks; Balance however just gathers a collection of purely superb songs. It’s a masterfully concocted collection of varied and emotive songs that will swirl around you and fill the room with something quite unlike anything you’ve heard before.

For more information on Funke and the Two Tone Baby, check out his website here:

http://www.funkeandthetwotonebaby.co.uk/

 

Joe Knipe

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