The Brand New Heavies emerged in the early ’90s as a part of the acid-jazz movement that was a pre-cursor to late-’90s neo-soul. The Heavies’ infectious sound was equal parts soul, jazz and funk that was centered by the irrepressible presence of lead vocalist N’Dea Davenport. This sassy diva was all perfect pipes and funky attitude, a wonderful complement to the band’s funky, jazzy hip-hop grooves. After embarking on a solo career (as all great singers do), Davenport has returned to the band that launched her career, and the music world can rejoice. Get Used to It is the Brand New Heavies exactly as you remember them: fun, funky, nostalgic and modern all at once.
The Brand New Heavies are masters at throwing down funky grooves, and Get Used to It is full of them. The album shines when the tracks are laced with classic funk and disco, as on the joyful “Let’s Do It Again” and the slinky “Sex God,” both of which can stand alongside some of the group’s most memorable cuts.
The beauty of the band is the symmetry between the music and vocals. Every high-hat, bass kick and guitar riff is in complete sync, and Davenport’s vocals are as strong as they were in 1992, soaring on the up-tempo “Right On” and with heartache on album centerpiece “I Don’t Know Why (I Love You).” As on previous albums, the Heavies prove skillful in everything from vintage soul to reggae to James Brown-style funk.
After such a long separation between Davenport and the band, it’s almost unbelievable that the magic is still here. A few cuts may not live up to the highs of some of the standouts, but the album is consistent in quality and tone. Be prepared for some truly accessible modern funk and soul.