“One Love Shines” is the latest single from R&B and soul legend King Errisson, a longtime member of Neil Diamond’s touring outfit and former key member of The Incredible Bongo Band. The single release continues the impressive story of a performer who has made a lot of musical history in his time without his name ever achieving the household familiarity it richly deserves. Some are certainly aware of Errisson’s importance to funk, R&B, and soul music as his older disco funk material is a virtual treasure trove for breakbeat hounds. New material with this sort of quality will do much to elevate his profile to a level more appropriate for his talent and delves into a very different vein than his youthful solo releases ever dared. “One Love Shines” has style to burn and genuine substance than his peers and contemporaries strain to match, let alone surpass.
You know you’re in good hands from the beginning. The arrangement has a forceful R&B/soul slant punctuated by brass vamps that add streaks of vivid color to the song. Authoritative drumming sets an unusual, but physical pace for the song from the outset and it’s impossible to not like the crisp hitting from Errisson’s percussionist. There’s a sprinkling of guitar in the song, as well, that leans towards the funky or bluesy side of the musical spectrum and the song’s second half changes gears some with a memorable bridge. There are natural spikes and dips in the music’s intensity stretched out over its three minute plus running time and the song concludes in an ideal way. This is a master at work, both as a writer and a vocalist. Some may turn their noses up in misplaced disgust over his choice of essentially hopeful subject matter, but Errisson’s lyrical sentiments are never expressed in a trite way and there’s even a hint of gospel influence in the words that deepen the clear longing in his message.
It’s his vocals, more than anything else, which proves he’s a master. He’s a master of phrasing and the intensely rhythmic way he delivers individual passages and the song as a whole provides another musical layer crucial to the song’s success. He has a habit of elongating the words in a considered, luxurious way that whips up a little added atmosphere and the extra force he brings to bear for the song’s chorus and later passages helps bring “One Love Shines” to the rousing conclusion it deserves. He’s careful throughout to never play the song and its sentiments too hard, but it’s a balancing act – one doesn’t want to come across as too laid back either – that he pulls off with room to spare. The new single from this critically respected veteran artist is everything we expect from top shelf R&B and soul with a lightly funky edge and some interesting rhythmic accents. “One Love Shines” will appeal to a wide audience of both casual music lovers and longtime devotees of the style.