Stone Foundation - A Life Unlimited (The Turning Point Recording Organisation)

Stone Foundation – A Life Unlimited (The Turning Point Recording Organisation)

StoneLEMuch has been made of the Paul Weller like qualities of The Stone Foundation‘s debut album. I can see where folk are coming from, but there are more apparent observations to make, such as the Dexys like backing on ‘Beverley‘, especially from the recent ‘One Day I’m Going To Soar’ period, or the Hot Chocolate style classic pop compositions (‘Something In The Light’ is perhaps the most obvious example).

If it’s being compared to any aspect of Weller’s career, then it has to be that of The Style Council. Maybe Mick Talbot had more of an influence on 21st century music than any of us would ever have predicted. No? Oh ok, maybe not.

Frontman Neil Jones has a soothing, honey-coated timbre that is just a picnic basket away from the sadly missed General Johnson from seventies soul stalwarts Chairmen Of The Board. Jones, in fact, is so blissed out that he could easily give voice to the sun. There is a social conscience there too – it’s not all sandy beaches and love trumpets – which aligns the band, lyrically at least, with the likes of ‘What’s Going On’ era Marvin Gaye and Sly and The Family Stone.
There’s no riot going on, however, just a suggestion to “speak your piece, take your time” and a time honoured theme of “why can’t people just love each other?” – it’s an affectionate take on those classic black vocal groups of the 1970s except that, well, they’re white…

This shows, I think, on some of the lengthier numbers, which are amicable enough but do go a little too Jobfinder on occasion (anyone who has ever worked a nightshift during the 1990s will know what I’m talking about).

There’s nothing new here whatsoever, but neither is there anything wrong with that – we don’t always need artists breaking new ground by simulating the strangulation of a porcupine after all.

For instance, ‘Learning The Hard Way‘ could be the theme tune to a prime time eighties television programme, such is its showy glitz, whereas ‘These Life Stories’ borrows heavily from either Michael McDonald or Warren G, depending on your perspective.

It’s all very becalming stuff, cranking the feelgood factor up to the highest degree. They could easily soundtrack your summer, should it ever arrive.


God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.