Stoned Part II


Stoned Part II is Lewis Taylor's pure, perfect dance-pop album. His second self-released album and fourth album proper, it initially appeared on his own label Slow Reality in 2004. First ever vinyl edition. An experiment in the sounds of contemporary pop and dance music, Lewis's wonky take on funky pop would annihilate anything kicking around the charts, then or now. If only it were given half a chance. Roughly half the tracks are absolutely essential, fascinating re-workings of tracks from the eternal Stoned Part I, as Lewis explains: "When we were doing Stoned we were trying different approaches with everything so we ended up with more than one version of nearly all the songs which left us with more than an album's worth of material. There was a lot of really cool house tunes around at the time which we were both really into and that shaped the sound and production, some songs more directly than others." The swoonsome, string-drenched opener "Madman" is quite the departure, a bleepy, bumping soulful disco-house record. It's followed by another huge dancefloor stomper, "Keep Right On". There's no let-up with the sparkling "Reconsider" which sounds an awful lot like Daft Punk meets Nile Rodgers. "When Will I Ever Learn 2" really slaps, presenting a breezier, more upbeat funk take on the brilliant original and incorporating "From The Day We Met" from Stoned Part I. "Out Of My Head Is The Way I Feel" is one of Lewis's very best songs. The vocals, self-harmonizing and virtuoso playing are next level. "Carried Away" is a real standout, Lewis's gorgeous falsetto riding a quasi D&B groove to begin with before adorning a more classically funky 2-step rhythm. The funky, Rhythm King drum machine soul of "Stoned Part 2" refashions the original in the style of an unearthed Sly Stone classic, circa There's A Riot Going On. Then glide to "Positively Beautiful 2" which, if it's even possible, manages to be better than the original. The epic, orchestral opening truly captivates before Lewis gets down with kaleidoscopic dancefloor-slaying Philly soul-funk. "Throw Me A Line" closes out the side "Shame 2" is a blissful, restrained version of the massive original, without the crazy psych-soul wig-out. The gorgeous mellow vibe continues with "Won't Fade Away", featuring Beach Boys harmonies over a barely-there pulse. The album bows out with a psych-soul wig-out, "Keep On Keeping On", a real highlight. Mastered by Simon Francis. Cut by Cicely Balston at Air Studios and pressed at Record Industry.