Review of Britannia Shing-A-Ling Album by Sunlightsquare


Sunlightsquare is the brainchild of Italian pianist and composer Claudio Passavanti, who handpicked a host of talented musicians, to create a live album project recorded purposefully with very limited technology to produce a classic sound. The idea is to celebrate the sound of Northern Soul, Rare Groove and many Latin sounds. Sunlightsquare first started recording in 2004 hitting the jazz scene in London and have been supported by many influential artists in the scene.

'Britannia Shing-A-Ling' certainly has a sophisticated sound due to the multitude of instruments and because of the recording technique we can really feel the presence of a big band. There are covers of classic tracks such as 'Nowhere To Run', 'California Soul' and 'Land Of 1000 Dances', amongst other lesser known world tunes. It's a relatively short album, however, it's very much based on quality rather than quantity. There are some very well acclaimed musicians who feature on this album, as well as some great vocalists.

I'm not really sure what to make of this album. There is a real sense of drama and theatre in the grandness of it all that I personally find a bit unnecessary; however, the slickness of it will certainly appeal to some. I really liked the Latin influences. I can absolutely appreciate the art and aplomb due to the orchestration and composition that creates a maturity of sound, a sophistication and elegance. It's possibly better suited to a more experienced or sweet natured audience. For those who like edge or sounds of the underground it may be a bit too polished, however, it's a good musical effort all the same. Not bad.

Tareck Ghoneim

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