Yorkshire Times
Voice of the North
Graham Clark
Features Writer
3:16 PM 11th September 2020

Gregory Porter - All Rise (Decca Records)

If you have ever seen Gregory Porter live you will know that he talks a lot in between the songs, thankfully on his new album he lets the music talk instead.

The jazz infused songs that made him famous are still here but he tends to look to a more soulful side on the album. Concorde, the first track on the album sees him in a soulful mode. It is a track like John Legend used to record before he got too bland. The song is about the supersonic plane, if you hadn’t guessed.

His 7 year old son appears in the video to the song.

Dad Gone Thing is about his absent father who apparently was a great singer and a good cook, “he didn’t teach me a dad gone thing but how to sing” he recites on the track.

Revival Song has already been released as a single, the Gospel tinged track will be a great live number but if you need a ballad then If Love is Overrated for me is one of the strongest songs here. A soulful vocal on a track that Mario Biondi would do, if he decided to slow things down. The London Symphony Orchestra give the track an emotional twist.

Faith In Love could be the cousin to Marvin Gaye’s Mercy Mercy Me brought into the 21st century whilst Long List of Troubles has a touch of the blues.

Porter has a unique voice which is best suited to ballads - you will agree when you listen to Merchants of Paradise.

On Mister Holland he uses the name of his friend and fellow musician Jools Holland and Porter’s daughter Rosie Mae, the song is about racial inequality sung from the viewpoint of black teenager dating a white girl.

It will be a treat to hear all these songs live when he tours next year. If you need a pick me up and a belief in the power of music, your answer is here.

27 February 2021 - Leeds Arena
2 March 2021 - Manchester Arena

I rate the album 4 out of 5.