Into The Deep: a music review done by students for students

Blaise Radley

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Opening with a salvo of trumpets, Into The Deep starts so assuredly that it’s almost impossible not to root for its continued success. This is an album for the so-called “good times,” a riotous affair that can’t help but conjure up images of debauched nights spent on Frenchmen Street, yet I repeatedly found myself longing for a level of depth and flair that rarely materialized.

At this point in their career Galactic are unlikely to break through into the greater public consciousness, but what’s refreshing is that they clearly don’t care. Into The Deep is the sound of a band who knows that their disparate influences might come across as derivative, but are having a joyous time regardless. Galactic has been playing together for 21 odd years, and yet, they can still skillfully put together an infectious foot-shaker that recalls everything from Curtis Mayfield to Funkadelic.

That’s not to say this record doesn’t have its issues. For those of you who have an averse opinion to jazz, funk and soul, this is not going to be the album that changes your mind, purely because it’s so wholeheartedly indebted to each of those genres. As such, songs like ‘Dolla Diva’ and ‘Into The Deep’ are undoubtedly competent in their production, they simultaneously sound dated and are ultimately forgettable. Whilst standout track ‘Right On’ picks apart its influences and fuses them with modern pop sensibilities, elsewhere Galactic seem a little too comfortable to rest on their laurels.

For their fans this will be another welcome entry in their extensive catalogue, but I have my doubts that this will draw in new listeners. Galactic is a band that have ceaselessly and endearingly paid homage to New Orleans in their music and by drawing on the heritage of the city (a heritage they’ve contributed to) you’re left with a work of art that bridges multiple eras. Unfortunately, it never amounts to too much more than that, and although it’s cohesive, it’s only sporadically engaging.

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