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  • MAIN INGREDIENT 'PURE MAGIC' CD REVIEWS



    Review #1 - Lori Owens-Griffin

    Listen to some PRIME CUTS from the Main Ingredient's NEW CD "PURE MAGIC


    To paraphrase the commercial: "This ain't your father's (& mother's) Main Ingredient..."

    If you were looking for the sounds you've grown accustomed to from back in the day, go dig in your crates/archives. Ready or not, there is a different sound by The Main Ingredient. Carlton Blount has the task of helping The (New) Main Ingredient get to the next level without regressing to what is now the current standard of R&B..

    It's difficult to create a music product that will sell in today's market and get played on today's "knee-gro" radio. The "powers-that-be" already have their "Jell-O molds" in place and are reluctant to deviate from them and allow fresh concepts to evolve.

    That's not to say I don't like all of 'Pure Magic'. There are a few catchy tunes that had my head rocking to the beat ["I'll Do For You" and "We Got Us"]; and some of the ballads [especially "I Love You (The Letter)" and "Will You Marry Me?"] were beautiful. However, if I were taking a blind "taste" test, I would have been hard pressed to guess who this group was. Some cuts had visions of Levert (among other artists/performers) dancing through my mind.

    The harmonies are great. Messrs. Silvester, Blount and Simmons are tight. The duet with Natasha C. Coward was pretty and the song reminded me of Lisa Stansfield. Natasha also seems to be a talented newcomer who will be releasing a CD early next year - listen out for her, too. There are some nice piano, guitar and bass lines, too, but they've strayed from the acoustic orchestration that they were known for by using more synthesized instrumentation (a slight disappointment but I'm over it).

    Overall, it's a decent project, ready for the new/current standard of what's being played on commercial radio with just about enough of the familiar TMI flavor the rest of us are used to.

    Review #2 - Renee Williams

    Listen to some PRIME CUTS from the Main Ingredient's NEW CD "PURE MAGIC


    On October 20th 2001, I, along with other Soul Patroller's had the pleasure to be involved with a listening party launching the new cd by The Main Ingredient entitled 'Pure Majic', on their new label "Magnatar Records".

    Indeed, this album exemplifies 'Majic'. The group still includes two original members Tony Silvester, and Luther Simmons, and their 'newest' secret weapon and addition to the trio, Mr. Carlton Blount. Mr. Blount takes on the group, offering a more rich, gritty, but soulful sound. As a fan of the Main Ingredients of the late 60's into the 70's and 80's, I was quite surprised at the new sound and direction that the group has taken on, a more uptempo and urban sound, with the ability to still implement the classic love ballads that made the group famous from the start.

    Every song on the cd has its own formula, but on every cd there are some songs that reach out and grab you.

    On track 1 of the cd, the new lead singer Carlton Blount suggests to his prospective lover 'I'll Do It For You'. This is a mellow groove that will make either your head nod, toe tap, or make your body sway to the smooth tempo.

    Track 2 is what I would term as the 'Always and Forever' of the 21st Century , entitled 'Will You Marry Me?'. This is a very harmonious and romantic 'proposal song' that is sure to get a 'yes' out of quite a few women...

    Track 3 is another pretty mellow ballad entitled 'I Love You'. Definetly a slow groove that is made for the dance floor, and 'Quiet Storm' radio format

    Track 4 presents it self with as a "Timbaland' beat - slow song, which is titled 'Our Business'. This selection would fair well on today's urban radio, as it offers a sound crossed between neo-soul and smooth groove ballad material.

    Track 5 - We Got Us - Uptempo selection, with a funky downbeat.

    Track 6 - Why Should I - A mellow ballad and moody song about a love gone wrong,

    Track 7 - It's Alright - Uptempo and danceable selection, where the singer offers and suggests a good time in 'paradise' to the listener, good toe tapping material to listen to.

    Track 8 - The Dance - another Funky downbeat danceable/head nodding/toe tapping tune which suggests 'The party's over here...' fun and reminiscent of an old school house party...

    Track 9 - Majic - Title track of the cd, and a nice mellow love ballad that is good for the dance floor.

    Track 10 - By Any Means Necessary - Mellow love song about Man wants Woman, Woman belongs to another, and the struggle begins by "Any Means Necessary...

    Track 11 - How Long - Mellow groove, daydreamy - wishing and hoping love song that is good for the dance floor, the singer puts strong vocal emphasis song for a melodramatic ending to his plea of needing love...

    Track 12 - Wont Let You Do That To Me - Singer Carlton Blount is joined by powerhouse newcomer vocalist, Natasha Coward. Uptempo danceable finger-snapping song that has crossover R&B 'hit' potential on urban radio.
    The song is co-written by 80 and 90's R&B pioneers, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis.

    All and all, the new "Pure Majic' cd is destined for gold, and is a welcomed change and return of a legendary group, considered to be part of the true pioneers of original rhythm and blues and soul music.

    The Main Ingredients = PURE MAJIC.

    Review #3 - Mike Boone

    Listen to some PRIME CUTS from the Main Ingredient's NEW CD "PURE MAGIC


    On Saturday the 20th of October, I was part of a of the SP listening party and had the pleasure of grooving to the of the new Main Ingredient CD entitled, " Pure Magic", on their new label Magnatar Records. Music lovers all over the world know the group as being the mellow fellows who injected mainstream music into the veins of R&B music, during the group's successful run in the early part of the 1970's.

    Let me illustrate how " pure magic" entered into my musical soul a total full of eargasm, that afternoon. I'll tell you that what song blew my mind first was " Will You Marry Me". This song I see as futuristic wedding song of the 21 century.

    The first track, " I'll Do For You" is a gliding dance floor jam that get you started in
    a groove. The vocals are mellow like a glass of sparkling wine, as the group shower
    their woman with diamonds and pearls.

    " I Love You ( The Letter)", is another mellow side done extremely well by lead singer Carlton Blount, expressing his tender side for his lady on his vocals.

    "Our Business", has to me, a touch of Marvin Gaye-ish arrangements, complete with nice synthesized musical background. I like when the group plead their women to work out things in their complicated affair.

    " We Got Us" is my next favorite cut. I love the way Carlton shout out his feelings as the Tony and Luther echoes those same sentiments in the background. The music is really smoking in the back with it's cool funky rhythms.
    An absolute smoker !!!

    "Why Should I" a beautiful mellow melodic ballad that I think most fans would enjoy listening to.

    "It's Alright", and " The Dance", is a couple of get up and shake your rump to the funk as the group commands you to party all over the dance floor.

    " Magic" reminds me of some how a Luther Vandross arrangement
    which flows excellent.

    "By Any Means Necessary". You know when hearing the title, of course is a reminder of the catch phase the great Malcolm X said during his heyday as a Muslim leader in the early 1960''s, but in this case, it's used entirely different, since the fellows are referring to the old school game of playing hard to get, to a lovethey are yearning to win.

    "How Long" is a nice easy going song about a lost love. It reminds me of a touch of the ledgendary great Lenny Williams.

    " I Won't Let You Do That To Me", is a great duet number I enjoyed by a very talented singer named Natasha C. Coward, who has a style of to me of Anita Baker. She is a great talent, and is destine to mark a dent in the music industry in the future. I understand that this particular track has been played on various radio stations around the country. Natasha and Carlton vocal duet shines along with Tony and Luther.

    " Pure Magic" is purely enjoyable and it has pure quality. So when purchasing this CD, remember no matter how many changes takes place in the music industry or within the group itself, the new Main Ingredient continues to be the musical chefs, for a new kind of recipe in soul music. The main ingredient for this particular recipe is called, talent !!!!!!
    That's what they have always
    represented !!!! So ! Go out and please purchase this remarkable CD and you shall
    hear my children, what real tasteful soul sounds like !!!

    So, Carlton, Tony and Luther.................We're so glad to have you back in soulland!! Remember always what you fellas have always told us, that
    ........Happiness is Just Around The Bend


    Review #4 - David Leifer


    Listen to some PRIME CUTS from the Main Ingredient's NEW CD "PURE MAGIC


    Hey All You Soul & R&B Fans:

    I attended last Saturday's listening session for the new Main Ingredient CD, "Pure Magic" (pretty lame title) at the modest offices of the group's new label, Magnatar Records, located in an historic music biz building just north of Times Square.

    First we were served sandwiches and sodas by Thomas Anderson, the very nice man who runs the label. I had tuna and then roast beef, both of which were excellent. Condiments were also provided, including some excellent sour pickles. There were about a dozen of us (and one dog) crammed into that little office, munching out.

    Then Thomas put on the CD and we were instructed to take some notes, and to ultimately post a short review of the CD for the benefit of the group and the SP readership.

    So here goes:

    "Pure Magic" is a respectable, if not world-shaking release for the Main Ingredient, now including young new lead singer Carlton Blount (Cuba Gooding is long gone from the scene), along with veterans Tony Silvester and Luther Simmons. It is state of the art mainstream R&B, well-produced, tasteful and occasionally a bit dull (particularly after the 40-minute mark). However, if you like that sort of thing...

    The group apparently haven't released a new record in 12 years, so they are hoping this CD will help re-launch them to the record-buying public. Like many veteran groups, they face the dilemma of pleasing older fans by providing something familiar from "back in da day," and trying to reach younger listeners by including more up-to-date sounds. It's a tough line to straddle, so the group have relied on outside songwriters and producers to provide them with a slick, well-crafted sounded that doesn't take too many chances with the romantic R&B formula.

    That said, the CD does have its charms. Harmony singing is outstanding throughout, as expected, and Blount is a capable, impressive singer.
    Standout tracks include ballad "Will You Marry Me," "I Love You (The Letter)" - another nice downtempo tune with a bumping synthesized bassline, the relatively funky "We Got Us" - the CD's first single, "How Long" - which recalls some of Michael McDonald's more soulful moments, and finally the last track on the CD, "Won't Let You Do That to Me" - featuring soul contender Natasha C. Coward on co-lead vocals. Ms. Coward is a very impressive singer who will also have a CD released soon on Magnatar. Don't sleep on her - she's the real deal.

    So that's about it. Hardcore Main Ingredient fans should check it out, but it won't make them forget the group's heyday. Younger fans could do worse than to listen to some well-honed harmony singing from the "old guys" (and one young one) - but I don't think R. Kelly or Jay-Z or even Luther Vandross (a strong influence on Blount) have too much to worry about.

    And the beat goes on...



    Review #5 - Sandy Jones

    Listen to some PRIME CUTS from the Main Ingredient's NEW CD "PURE MAGIC


    I had the pleasure of listening to a interesting new release entitled "Pure Magic" from the New Main Ingredient. I call the Main Ingredient new, although, only one of the members are new, because of their sound. The Main Ingredient are keeping it real in the 2000's.
    The new CD is called: "Pure Magic". The songs included are:

    1. "I'll Do For You"
    2. "Will You Marry Me"
    3. "I Love You, The Letter"
    4. "Our Business"
    5. "We Got Us"
    6. "Why Should I"
    7. "It's All Right"
    8. "Dance"
    9. "Magic"
    10. By Any Means Necessary"
    11. How Long"
    12. "Won't Let You Do That To Me"

    When you listen to the new CD, you might be disappointed if you are waiting to hear the dreamy, romance of the Ingredient of the 70's and 80's.
    What you will hear are songs full of power, desire and passion, but no candle light and flowers. They sing of love in a very realistic, honest way.
    Tracks #9, "Magic", and *10 "how Long" are most reminiscent of the Main Ingredient sound of the Cuba Gooding days.

    Back in the day, The Main Ingredient's music was considered more for the ladies. I think that this music will appeal to men as well as women.

    Gentlemen, you could find yourself imagining that you are the one singing "I Love You, The Letter" or, "Will You Marry Me" to your special one.
    But, ladies, the Ingredient's new lead singer, Carlton Blount, sings each song with so much soul and intensity, that you will believe that he is singing to you, alone.
    Let me tell you, this brother is funky. He has a voice That is smooth as silk, but with just enough gravel to add texture that will grab you by the ears and compel you to listen to what he has to say.

    This Main Ingredient can handle songs that are made for moving on the dance floor, such as, "Dance" and "Won't Let You Do That"

    If you sit back and let your mind stay right here in the present, while you listen to the New Main Ingredient, you will find that all in all, the Main Ingredient of the 21st century can stand toe to toe with any of the new groups and Handle {their} Business quite well


    Review #6 - Unific29

    Listen to some PRIME CUTS from the Main Ingredient's NEW CD "PURE MAGIC


    Its always been commonplace for a popular RnB group from the past to try to make a comeback and stay up with today's heady flash in the pan, gimmick laden music of today but it seems no problem for three brothers by the name of the Main Ingredient.. Or should I say the New Main Ingredient.
    I stress the word new because that's exactly what the group sounds like, a new group with, new material, and a totally new sound.... The Main Ingredient can be traced back to the mid sixties then known as The Poets later to evolve as The Main Ingredient. Their new sound is the birth child of a legacy. Over three decades of heartfelt RnB soul courtesy of previous greats the late Donald Mcpherson and Cuba Gooding Sr.
    That's a lot for new lead Carlton Blount to live up to but he holds his own with the fresh material and slick production done up by Ingredients vet Tony Silvester .
    Gone are the dreamy lush orchestra sweet strings with the floating tenor backgrounds, but replaced with a hipper urban hipper upscale sound

    While every song on this set doesn't actually break away from the starting gate it certainly has its shining moments all the slow numbers on this cd work well and deserve considerable airplay on all the urban radio Quiet Storm programs...

    Song definitely to look out for are the smokin " I'll Do For You", "Will You Marry Me" ( The Next New Millennium Wedding Song!!!) and the smooth & jazzy "Magic"...
    I would recommend "Pure Magic" for anybody who enjoys pure music.........


    Review #7 - Cheryl Page

    Listen to some PRIME CUTS from the Main Ingredient's NEW CD "PURE MAGIC


    On 10/20/2001, members of the Soul-Patrol were the guests of Magnatar Records and had the pleasure of listening to the Main Ingredients new cd "Pure Magic". And before I tell you what I thought of the cd, let me say "THANKS, so much" to Magnatar Records.

    The new lead singer, Carlton Blount has a great voice that blends in wonderfully with Tony Silvester and Luther Simmons, III. The cd has 12 tracks, 6 of which I really liked.
    "I'll Do For You" was okay. The words I felt were geared toward a younger audience, but it had a nice beat. The chorus of this song strongly reminds me of another song and it's killing me because I can't figure out what song it is.
    "Will You Marry Me" you will hear as the wedding processional or the first dance at the reception for the next 10 years (think Here & Now, Body & Soul, etc.). It is a really beautiful song that is one of my favorites.
    "The Letter" is the other song that will be played at weddings and receptions. "Our Business" and "We Got Us" are definitely two of my favorites. They both have a great funky dance beat, especially "We Got Us". I absolutely love "We Got Us" and I love Carlton's voice on this one.
    "Why Should I" is a nice ballad. "It's Alright" and "The Dance" are nice dance tunes, however, I think some of the words are geared to a younger audience .
    "Magic" is a love song that reminds me of Luther Vandross.
    "By Any Means Necessary" is a pretty ballad, one of those midnight hour songs. "How Long" is another showcase for Carlton's voice. It's a really nice love song and this, too, reminds me of another song.
    The last song is also a favorite, "Won't Let You Do That" is a nice duet with Natasha C. Coward. I think all the Soul-Patrollers were in agreement that Natasha sounds like Anita Baker. She will make some waves in the future and I would keep an eye out for her.

    I must admit that on first hearing the cd, I wasn't impressed. But then I realized that I was looking at it the wrong way. This is a totally new group, with a new sound. Based on that info you have to judge the cd on this alone and not your previous Main Ingredient experiences. Overall, it really is a nice cd that I would buy and even better, I plan on giving out as X-Mas gifts to few friends. If you haven't heard it, you should give it a listen, because there's a new Main Ingredient in town!!!






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