Alanna Royale – “So Bad You Can Taste It” Soul Step Records REVIEW

Here at 50Thirdand3rd (and everywhere else), I never pass up the opportunity to talk about my affinity for rock n’ roll. It’s what got me the gig! I play guitar, been on stages across the country, studios, you name it. But what you may not know is my favorite genre is R&B. Not so much modern R&B (more on that later) but the honest-to-goodness Stax Records, Mowtown R&B. The stuff with heartbreak, triumph, groove, and for the lack of a better word, soul. So when I found out my friends at Soul Step Records were dropping something in that vein I was beyond ecstatic! A few days later I received a vinyl copy of So Bad You Can Taste It from Alanna Royale.

You knew it was coming, but vinyl is the correct way to listen to R&B. Even more so with Alanna Royale!

The Nashville-based outfit, Alanna Royale is the primary vessel for frontwoman Alanna Quinn-Broadus where it showcases her earth-shattering voice and neo-modern songwriting. Based in a city as crowded and diverse with many musical projects, Alanna Royale may have their odds stacked against them. But if anything, it’s encouraged them to push themselves even harder. And it’s apparent in every single chord, note, melody, and vocal line. Most importantly, Alanna Royale is the real deal.

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The problem I have with a lot of modern R&B is how reliant it is on hip-hop. Don’t get me wrong, I like hip-hop and in no way insist a genre can’t evolve over time. But beginning in the 90s, any act throwing the sound back to the golden age of soul, has been treated as a marketing gimmick. Make no mistake, the genre is alive and well. But the artists keeping it alive are rarely found in the mainstream. I may go as far as to say, Alanna Royale is elevating the genre!

With a strong emphasis on organic instrumentation, Alanna Royale presents herself as something more than a mere gimmick.

Said instrumentation is brought to life by producer, Kelly Finnigan. As the vocalist of The Monophonics and leader of the modern soul revival, Finnigan fully understands the power behind a live band. The guitars are funky, drums powerful, brass ensemble shimmering, and the bass is absolutely mind-blowing! As an added incentive for the vinyl version of So Bad You Can Taste It, the flipside features all 6 tracks as instrumentals!

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I have no problem saying Soul Step Records is at the forefront of modern indie R&B. Alanna Royale fits perfectly on their roster by prowess alone. But putting aesthetics aside, Alanna Royale is one of those special artists who does it right. An artist who will, no doubt, have a long prosperous career in the genre. It’s not the beginning, but So Bad You Can Taste It is a promise we’re gonna be enjoying Alanna Royale for a long time.

So Bad You Can Taste It is now available on limited edition vinyl at Soul Step Records.

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Aaron The Audiophile

Son, brother, uncle, musician. I enjoy music of all genres, shapes and sizes, preferably the good kind.