The only cover tune on Carlton Jumel Smith's "1634 Lexington Ave." album is not really a cover at all, since it was first cut by Carlton himself already 10 years ago. The sultry 2009 edition of "I'd Better", that was put out on the short-lived UK Soulchoonz label, is a nice piece of programmed mid-tempo modern soul. The new version, now getting a 7" single treatment on Timmion, still sounds miles away from the polished earlier effort.
It starts off with a nice guitar led beat before settling into a sweet Tighten Up groove, a funky road which still has plenty curves to explore, even for Cold Diamond & Mink, who are certainly not lifting water from this particular well for the first time. What remains naturally is Carlton's ultra-soulful vocal performance, and a message of manning up to the max, staying true to your word in front of something divine.
It's not that often you hear a more recent version of a song sounding so that you would think it's the old version. Essentially, what you get is a beautiful piece of xover soul, with timeless swagger, and an instrumental with soulful legs of its own.
1. Carlton Jumel Smith - I'd Better (feat. Cold Diamond & Mink)
2. Cold Diamond & Mink - I'd Better (Instrumental)
Jukka Eskola Soul Trio
Cold Diamond & Mink
Sami Linna Quartet