Listening to the Foreign Exchange’s first-rate sophomore release, one can’t help but recall soulful hits of yesteryear — the Five Stairsteps’ “Ooh Child,” Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On,” etc. From the album-opening “Daykeeper” — one of the more soul-soothing releases in recent memory — to the album-closing title track, the duo of Phonte Coleman and Nicolay (who met through the internet) has assembled one of the most satisfying, retrospective listens of the past few years. While let-love-rule numbers like “Something to Behold,” “Sweeter Than You,” and “Take Off the Blues” set the mood for the 11-track Leave It All Behind, the Foreign Exchange delivers a true classic in “Valediction” — a two-minute tune that plays like an R&B freestyle — and a superb cover of Stevie Wonder’s “If She Breaks Your Heart.”
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