For those of you who are not familiar with Natalie Williams she is an exceptional singer / songwriter who’s style is a unique blend of vocal jazz, soul and R&B. Smooth to the fullest her first releases link her with a whole host of some of the UKs finest for a laid back summery vibe.
‘The Way We Like It’ is the outstanding new single from the highly anticipated, breathtaking album ‘Secret Garden’. Currently acquiring solid support from Trevor Nelson (Radio 1), Gilles Peterson (Radio 1), Simon ‘Skoolboy’ Phillips (Capital FM & Beneath the Surface), Wayne C MC Donald (Galaxy) and Excalibah (BBC Radio 6 music) who describes the track as “incredible – slick production & wicked vocals!”).
Based on ‘Armando’s Rhumba’ by Chick Corea, ‘The Way We Like It’ is a fusion of latin, jazz and hip hop over a swinging rhythm that will ensure that ‘The Way We Like It’ will become a party classic for Summer 2006 crossing across urban city nights to festival land and hot & sweaty latin-jazz nights in one fell swoop. The music and the track sets the scene for Natalie to give a witty and direct insight on contemporary cultures obsession with celebrity through reality TV and gossip magazines and the fact that we are all addicted to it!
Featuring some of the best talents the UK scene has to offer, ‘The Way We Like It’ features Eska on backing vocals and Mercury Prize nominated rapper ‘TY’ hits the spot with his dynamic flow, rapping over a beat which is a bit different from producer Drew’s usual hip hop signature beats. Overall this has a rumbling bassline and a Cuban feel, but sounds a bit generic and although Natalie’s vocals are stunning the track is a little sterile. I guess that is what you get with R’n’B and basing a song so strongly on the original.
The release contains a multitude of remixes which for me try to cater to everybody, but in my opinion largely mean that people are going to get a couple of versions which they may not be feeling. The Lazy Batusu Remix is straight out of NY city injecting the track with energy and a cool party groove that would sit at home at Larry Levans ‘Paradise Garage’ & “The Loft’ – landmarks in the NY house scene.
The ‘This Is Rhythm Remix’ is the 2nd House remix on this smoking joint with a heavier UK ‘4 2 the Floor’ edge and a nice take on the hook that works around ‘KC & The Sunshine Band’ – ‘That’s The Way We Like It’ to give the mix that sing along appeal.
The ‘DC Joseph ‘remix is the Urban Take and with a heavy drum pattern that shadows the main melody – its a sure body rocker. A great deal of money must have been spent on sample clearance for this release.
The Way We Like It single is accompanied and complemented fully by ‘Does It Feel Good’ – a track reminiscent of the great Jill Scott at her best, it’s a warm soulful track describing the silly things you do when this your in love with a refreshing blissful vibe.
Written and produced with ‘Mercury Music Prize’ nominated producer, Drew Horley (whose credits include TY- Upwards, Estelle, Jay Sean, Psychic Phemomena and Roots Manuva), the album ‘Secret Garden’ is an accurate representation of both his and Natalie’s eclectic musical influences. Think samples of Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea and Henry Mancini fused with the sounds of Natalie’s live band. Secret Garden’ is an album for fans of real music, of classic soul, jazz and hip-hop.
Natalie Williams Presents ‘The Way We Like It’ feat TY + 3 Hot Remixes + ‘Does It Feel Good’
Released Eastside / Gridlockaz on Mon 22nd May 2006