Diane Shaw – Love, Life & Strings

Loading tracks...

Album – Diane Shaw – Love, Life & Strings

[soundcloud url=”″ params=”color=ff5500&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false” width=”100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]
Produced and Mixed by Andy Birkinshaw
Lead and Backing Vocals – Diane Shaw
Recorded at 80 Hertz Studios Manchester, and Gracieland Studios Rochdale.

Love, Life & Strings After 20 years performing on stage alongside Soul Legends such as Tito Jackson, The Stylistics, Martha Reeves, Sister Sledge, Eddie Holman, George McCrae, Alexander O’Neal and many more, Diane Shaw finally takes her turn in the spotlight and brings her own debut album set, encompassing everything she has learned from the masters, keeping that old school soul sound alive and delivering it to a new generation. Recorded as it was back in the old days, to analogue tape and with full orchestration of over thirty musicians, producing future classic soul songs with a sound that appears as fresh in an old soul playlist as it does on modern day commercial radio.

NO.1 in UK Soul Charts for 2 weeks
NO.1 Amazon R&B/Soul New Release Chart
TOP 30 Soul Album releases in the US in 2015

“A contender for Debut Album of the Year…a set of beautifully crafted ballads and dancers…delicious Motown styled horns and strings… Shaw’s sweet but strong vocal delivery, think Brenda Holloway, is truly intoxicating ”   Lois Wilson,  Record Collector/ MOJO Magazine ✭✭✭✭✰

“The vocals sublime, the production exquisite, a fabulous album, and straight out of Manchester!” – Craig Charles on BBC Radio 2 

 “..the ease with which she soars and dips, shimmers and explodes….a voice that’s strong pure, gutsy and mellow…. sweet, smooth and unpretentious..the song left me absolute gem in construction and delivery”  Sharon Davis (Motown UK, Blues & Soul, ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭✭✭✰

 “…sounds like a lost artefact that’s been languishing in Motown’s vaults for 45 years……Destined to be one of the best Soul LPs of 2015″  Charles Waring, Soul&Jazz& ✭✭✭✭✭


Album Review

Such is its attention to detail - in terms of its grooves, orchestrations, melodies and even song structures - that this remarkable UK-produced debut album from Diane Shaw sounds like a lost artefact that's been languishing in Motown's vaults for forty-five years. Having said that, it's much more than a hollow pastiche that pays tribute to soul music's golden era in the1960s. In an age when contemporary soul music seems plastic and soulless to a lot listeners - especially in Great Britain where 'real soul' is championed - Ms. Shaw has created an album that finds a ready-made market in the shape of the UK's Northern and Modern soul scenes, who will hungrily lap this up. 'Love, Life & Strings' is an album where substance goes deeper than style and whoever was behind the production, songwriting and orchestration has certainly done their homework, recreating the Detroit hit factory's musical DNA with total accuracy and authenticity. Despite this, there's nothing remotely second-hand about these songs, though, which are uniformly strong throughout this 14-track set. It seems churlish, perhaps, to single out individual cuts as the set is consistently engaging from start to finish. When it comes to the nitty-gritty, though, arguably the set's killer cut is the anthem-like 'That Thing You Do,' a churning uptempo mood-groove with a '70s vibe that recalls Holland-Dozier-Holland's Invictus repertoire.
It's probably already a Modern Soul scene floor filler. By contrast, the brilliant, Motown-esque floater, 'Leave A Little Love' - once recorded by Lulu - is rendered like a lost Brenda Holloway cut. 'Don't Promise Me Sunshine' has a perceptible uplifting gospel feel while 'Never Been Hurt' is a sweetly soulful shuffle with a sax solo and the brisk 'You Let Him Get Away' takes us back to Motown's halcyon days as does, 'Good Lovin' Man,' a Hitsville-style stomper. There are good ballads, too, exemplified by 'These Tears Are Real,' and there are also covers of Merle Haggard's Bettye Swann-associated 'Today I Started Loving You Again' and Aretha's immortal
'Say A Little Prayer.'
The nostalgic, feel-good vibe that imbues 'Life, Love & Strings' is infectious and though there might be some listeners who feel that they've heard it all before, you can't knock the sheer quality of Diane Shaw's assured vocal performances, her choice of material and the arrangements. They're all first class - which pretty well sums up the album as a whole.
Great stuff - and it's destined to be regarded as one of the best soul LPs of 2015.
- Charles Waring - SOUL&JAZZ&FUNK.COM