Imagination Featuring Leee John
Retropia CRISTAL RECORDINGS. CD/DL
The Lee with three Es returns on surprising form. Damned forever for appearing in togas and diapers on Top Of The Pops, Imagination offered the missing UK seaside postcard link between Barry White and D’Angelo. Made with members of Loose Ends, The Gibson Brothers and Incognito, their first album since 2013 is a surprising listen. Born out of sadness – the deaths of several of mainstay Leee John’s friends as well as his sister – its ruminative slow jams (such as seven-minute flute-heavy Utopia) are all taken at a most leisurely pace. John’s voice is on remarkable form throughout. It’s very much like mid-period Sade or George Michael albums, full of beautiful, skeletal melodies. The only missteps are an acoustic version of AC/DC’s Highway To Hell (no, really), and Brighter Day, which all gets a little Michael Jackson at its most saccharine. This aside, Retropia underlines what a hidden talent John is.