November 29, 2008

Kloud 9 -- Enjoy the Ride

I’m now totally convinced that the incredibly talented Duffie twins, Kelvis & Kendall (aka Kloud 9) are just blessed with the ability to crank out quality production after quality production. I’ve heard each of their projects, and the professionalism, the style, the charisma, the utter smoothness just keeps coming at a relentless pace. This latest offering, Enjoy the Ride, is no exception, by any means.

I have always been in awe of the phrasing similarities between these very adept musicians and, say, Ronald Isley, yet there are distinct differences that give Kloud 9 the identity they so enjoy with ease.

Kloud 9 has a real handle on smooth. Their hooks are contagious, the lead vocals are, as usual, rich and crisp, and the backing vocals are super-tight with strong harmonies. The mellow, effortlessly flowing vocals so complement the melodic compositions that they pen. Listening to velvety cuts like “Never Give It Up” and “I’m Calling You” contrast nicely with tunes like “All That Matters,” a lively up-tempo piece that features some really cool and expressive sax work by Donald Hayes and the punchy, funky “Grateful,” which features Kendall Duffie’s own hot synth work. There are also hook-rich cuts like “Can’t Hold This Love” featuring the satiny vocals of Tamara Jones.

In listening to the Duffies, you find it as no surprise that the duo has worked with Kirk Whalum and has close ties to the legendary Maysa Leak. Such company can only lead to the highest of precise productions, even if only via inspiration.

This album simply bolsters Kloud 9’s bragging rights as one of the purest up-and-coming talents around. Those who hear this work will agree that this duo is more than deserving of the mainstream limelight. I feel that I can almost guarantee that they will capture the ears and hearts of all who experience them. Go ahead. If this will be your first time listening, do yourself that favor.

Posted by Ronald Jackson at November 29, 2008 1:18 AM