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Sal Valentine and the Babyshakes - Single/Video Review: Cherry Blossom

15 May 2018 // A review by Corinne Rutherford

This is the first time I have heard of charismatic Auckland based musical artist Sal Valentine (Ivan Luketina Jonstone). I think I have fallen just a bit in love with his mix of funk and soul; it is super funky pop music that just makes you smile.

Cherry Blossom is the first single from Sal Valentine’s album This Party Blows, which personally I can’t wait to get my hands on, if the rest of the album is as groovy and danceable as this track. It was like being injected with a big shot of colourful musical happiness.

Sal’s vocals were velvety, almost soothing but delivered with an unmistakable Kiwi twang and an underlying sense of humour. There are some incredibly talented vocalists and musicians helping him out as well, resulting in a professional polished sound.

An effervescent video directed by Dahnu Graham (Madly) has a slight kitsch vibe to it which complements the infectious swinging soul - funk sound, it is very clever the way he has essentially turned your screen into a karaoke machine which encourages you to sing the lyrics. Add a group of people having fun (I think they may have been in rather high spirits).  Add a little bit of swearing at the end to give it that bad boy edge, and hey presto. One very cool video and an incredibly catchy song which is now stuck in your head with no way out.  

Cherry Blossom has been described by Sal as “probably the least cynical piece of music I’ll ever write”, which makes me even more excited to listen to more of his music. Satirical and defiantly contemporary has also been used in the past to describe his lyrics. I can confidently say that Cherry Blossom is more cheery, bright and sunny, then defiant or contemporary. Sparkling and fizzing with a tune that is infectious.

I am glad that this version of Cherry Blossom did not “sucks balls” and it made the cut to become the first single on This Party Blows.

This song should come with a caveat: infectious music ahead may cause involuntary movement of limbs… you have been warned.  

★★★★★ (5 stars) 


Review written by Corinne Rutherford

 

About Sal Valentine and the Babyshakes

"Babyshakes are special!" - Peter Urlich 2013
"A splendid time is guaranteed for all." - Graham Reid 2014

Widely regarded as one of the finest live acts in the country, Sal Valentine & The Babyshakes have twisted the fabric of musical time and lived to deliver you a curated selection of infectious and original rhythm and blues. Bandleader and songwriter Sal Valentine is framed by a slick quartet of horns toting heavy licks and a polished rhythm section comprised of piano, double bass and drums. Alongside the instrumentalists stand the foils to Sal Valentine: accomplished vocalists Chelsea Prastiti and Siobhan Grace. They are collectively named The Babyshakes, and have been declared by Valentine to be 'Auckland's Number 1 Band'.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Sal Valentine and the Babyshakes

Releases

Live At No. 10 South Street
Year: 2014
Type: EP

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