Album Review: Galactic – Into The Deep

Published On July 17, 2015 | By Michael Smith | Albums, Music

It’s been more than 20 years since Galactic first formed; a major career milestone, and one that many bands never survive long enough to see. In Galactic’s case however, it seems like they’re still going as strong as ever. With the release of Into The Deep, they’re here to prove to the world that they can still offer some of the best music when it comes to jazz, funk and everything else in between in the modern world.

Galactic Into The DeepInto The Deep opens on a strong note with what Galactic do best; jam tracks. Sugar Doosie features a constant wall of trumpets, organs and wordless shouting in the background, with every section surpassing the last in terms of catchy hooks. Long Live the Borgne pops up a few songs later, giving the same jam vibe but with a heavier rock element thanks to less trumpets and an increased use of guitar; but in the end, it’s the organ that makes it really stand out. All the jam tracks do something different here, and in truth that’s what makes them the most enjoyable. The jam tracks easily steal the show here.

The rest of the album is surprisingly strong as well, though. Dolla Diva in particular surfaces early as the strongest funk song on the album, with David Shaw and Maggie Koerner sounding perfect together. Koerner’s sections are especially strong, and the repetitive chorus initially sounds like it could be annoying, but ends up sticking in your head in a good way instead. The gospel sound of the album’s title track, featuring Macy Gray on vocals, marks another early highlight for the album. While it initially sounds out of place between two other high energy songs, it sets the album’s diverse mood early on while still feeling coherent with the rest of the album; it could have been placed better, but it doesn’t detract from the song at all.

By the time the album ends with its final jam, the fittingly blues-influenced Today’s Blues, the reason behind Galactic’s longevity as a group becomes blindingly obvious. The natural sound of the album mixed with the elements of jazz, R&B, gospel and numerous other influences feels extremely satisfying, and makes for a thoroughly enjoyable listen. If you’re one of those people that thought you wouldn’t be able to enjoy modern jazz, give Into The Deep a listen, because it doesn’t disappoint.

4 / 5 stars     

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