Bees + Things + Flowers


    A mish-mash of classic soul covers, reinterpreted songs and new material, Incognito’s Bees + Things + Flowers is a warm and fuzzy experience. The music here from the U.K. collective is pleasant to listen to, gliding by on familiar themes and lyrics, but it left me wanting more. Covers of Roy Ayers’s “Sunshine” and Earth, Wind & Fire’s “That’s The Way of the World” create a nostalgic vibe but don’t add much to the originals. The album does have plenty of compelling moments, especially the spectacular “Everyday” and “Crave,” both of which feature delicate instrumentation and the elegant vocals of Imaani. The double-time rhythms of “Raise” recall early drum ‘n’  bass, and “Still a Friend of Mine” centers on simple percussion and emotive vocals by Maysa and Tony Momrelle. To be certain, Incognito does an excellent job of combining jazz and soul with polite and proper arrangements, but Bees + Things + Flowers is just that: too polite and proper.