Mysteries Of The World


Mysteries Of The World is the stunning final studio album from legendary Philly supergroup MFSB. Expertly co-written and produced with the mighty Dexter Wansel, it features the untouchable, sparkling masterpiece Mysteries Of The World. The whole album is truly exquisite; a stylish, classy collection of pure Philly soul and orchestral jazz-funk. MFSB, an acronym for Mother, Father, Sister, Brother, was formed by producers Gamble & Huff of Philadelphia International Records. The band's roots can be traced back to the house band at the legendary Sigma Sound Studios, where they played on numerous hit records by artists like The O'Jays, Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes, and The Stylistics. Mysteries Of The World comprises slick jazz-funk grooves, mostly penned by Wansel, who produced a fair chunk of the album in a similar style to his space-funk records. MFSB's smooth sound is retained but it receives a fresh, elegant and jazzy upgrade. While this album is as mellow as the rest of the latter-period MFSB recordings, it never forgets the group's soul music underpinnings. Swaggering, well-timed horn blasts, sweeping strings and a percolating, hard thumping slap-bassline combine to devastating effect on amazing opener "Manhattan Skyline". It's a sexy mid-tempo instrumental which sets us up for the title track, arguably the finest jazz-funk instrumental ever made. Featuring musicianship of the highest caliber, the band play with their trademark tight discipline and the track fuses classical, jazz, and funk. The profound elegance remains in abundance on the slinky, harp-laced "Tell Me Why"; Carla Benson's beautiful voice truly shines on this sophisticated cut. The side closes out in dramatic style with the string-drenched "Metamorphosis," a staccato, Blaxploitation groove workout featuring wah-wah guitar, creeping basslines, rich horn solos, and soulful vocals. The bouncy, irrepressible "Fortune Teller" opens the B side in the bass-heavy orchestral funk style before the beautiful "Old San Juan" glides in, a Balearic-adjacent track with intricate arrangements. Melancholy, guitar-led instrumental "Thank You Miss Scott" is a real highlight, whilst closer "In the Shadow" works an otherworldly synth line into its bossa nova groove. Mastered for vinyl by Simon Francis. Cut by Cicely Ralston for Alchemy at AIR Studios. Artwork by renowned illustrator Robert Giusti, restored at Be With Records.