100 Million Ways
Just A Little Sign
Soon To Be
I Don't Care
What Can I Do?
When The Truth Comes Out
It's very rare that a debut album arrives so fully formed, so technically brilliant, so modestly convinced of its own excellence. The Chancer is such a superb exhibition of modern soul that it's near-guaranteed to appeal both to the streetwise fans of the likes of Young Disciples and the more mainstream followers of Sade and Simply Red.
It would be easy to say the album's appeal lies mostly in the fabulous voice of singer Russell Nash. Sometimes sweet and breathy ("Just A Little Sign"), sometimes strained and troubled ("Time"), always articulate and unashamedly emotional, he clearly aims to match the deservedly iconic likes of Marvin Gaye and Curtis Mayfield. And, intelligently restrained and never over-indulgent, he does not fall far short. But, though Nash is without doubt a vocal superstar-in-waiting, his backing is vital.
Produced both by Nash (a multi-instrumentalist too) and programmer Steve "Tha 4orce" Ellington, this is a masterful mix of mournful strings, snappy contemporary beats, some unusually pretty acoustic guitars and a series of overlaid, overlapping backing vocals that are remarkable in their melody, harmony and poise.The Chancer is heartfelt and moving without being over-sentimental, considered without being patronising, smooth without ever becoming cloying and unarguably outstanding.
Nash The Chancer (Album -(Go Beat) )
Let us introduce you to the band who are apparently about to give the British soul scene a much needed kick up the arse - Nash. Having released their first single, Just a Little Sign and receiving enthusiastic support from GLR and Norman Jay, the band were signed to the credential conscious Go Beat Records little over a year ago.
Working from their North London studio The Chancer was created with help from various contributors such as Femi and Marco of The Young Disciples, Johnny Dollar and Geoffrey Williams. Pin pointing the bands influences is an easy task. At times lead singer Russell Nash's versatile voice is so scarily similar to Stevie Wonder and Marvin Gaye that it is quite difficult to believe that this man has not an ounce of black blood in his body. Curtis Mayfield also manages to pop his composing head up a few times - check out Black Box.
At its best this music is as gutsy and complex as anything Leonard Berstein could care to churn out. At its worst, the over dramatic choral scores sound like they wouldn't be out of place in a dreaded West End musical. But this is an album that's been worked at, that's seen its fair share of blood, sweat and tears. It takes in Parliaments funk, Macy Grays soul and Living Colours folk/rock and turns it onto chart compatible Prince style pop.
From the impressive arms length of contributors of Alone (7 violinists, 2 horn players, accordion player and that's just the start) to the charming vocal collisions of What Can I Do, this is an album that proves the musical convictions of it creators. They definitely care. And with their current single 100 Million Ways already receiving great radio support this could definitely be a case of look out charts here we come.
Less acid jazz than Jay Kay, more soulful than Kravitz, this London duo’s debut is as convincing an attempt to reclaim the charts for ‘proper’ music as will be released this year” - GQ Magazine
"Nash is good for you, like music used to be" - Front Magazine
"Classy, British hip-hop soul" - The Times
“Thank God that someone’s still got the balls to make music like this…..a great new talent” - Worldpop
“A truly tremendous example of British soul at its best” - Touch Magazine
“One of the most inventive and exciting artist launches of this year” - The Tip Sheet