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Million Dollar Orchestra - Better Days 

Scotsman Al Kent has released some well-regarded singles in recent years, but I’m not sure anything could have prepared us for the greatness of his Million Dollar Orchestra’s Better Days.  Dissatisfied with cutting up endless loops of classics, Kent decided to create his own futuristic disco, organizing a band and crafting tunes in the finest tradition of disco godfathers like Patrick Adams and Cerrone.  Despite the risks of purposely trying to recreate a retro sound, especially when the entire project is recorded in ten days, their execution is flawless, with a soaring soulful approach that makes some of these tunes virtually indistinguishable from those from the late 70s. 

The instrumental prowess of the Orchestra is great, particularly the bottom provided by Stephen Westwater's bass and Jim Gash's drums. Augmented by the keys of Charlie Milne, Kev McShane's tasteful guitar licks, a driving four-piece horn section and sweeping strings, the combination of the deep grooves provided by the band and the light but effective vocals by members of the Glasgow Gospel Choir is irresistible. 

The eight cuts offer something to appeal to every dancer, but my standout cuts are the opening “Don’tcha Wanna Get Down,” “Feel The Music” and “Rock Freak Boogie.” One of the early highlights of the year, Better Days represents a fantastic bit of artistic growth for Al Kent and his disco denizens. 

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