Quite how a collection of guys from Hartlepool can create the sound and emotional resonance of the very best soul music from early 1970s Sheffield, Alabama, Muscle Shoals is a question that may take a lot of time to answer.
Music fans don’t always like to single out the front person when they talk about what makes certain pieces of music stand out as it’s a bit like singling out a centre-forward in a successful football team – we all know they’re important but without a decent team around them, they’d not perform as well. Or at least that’s the liberal and accepted way of giving praise to a team dynamic.
Given the complexity of ‘My Eyes’…’ musical architecture, it’s certainly true that all of The Endeavours play a part in the success of this record, both in arrangement and songwriting, yet you can’t get away from the fact that it’s frontman Tony Skillbeck who delivers the type of performance that transforms a track from very good into soul gold.
Passionate, complex and emotive, Skillbeck’s vocal range provides the emotional heart to a record which explores the journey from love at first sight, to the ultimate realisation of knowing that no matter how hard you try, you can’t always get what you want.
Soulful beyond expectations, ‘My Eyes…’ is maybe the most affecting piece of American soul to come out of the North East since The Animals. Brilliant stuff.
For further information about The Endeavours and their new release, head to Facebook.com/theendeavours.