Genre(s): Soul / R&B
Released: November 6, 2012
Social: Facebook | Twitter
Singer, songwriter, actor, and Brooklyn native Tuac (pronounced tuck, also known as Len Xiang) has been on the scene for a while, performing at a variety of venues, sometimes accompanied by a band, other times on the solo tip with just a guitar. The man is a true artist, a soulful crooner blessed with an amazing voice and captivating presence. Those qualities certainly shine through on Higher Ground, a five-song EP that blends elements of contemporary R&B with those of classic soul.
As expected, Ground covers a lot of ground that other similar projects have tackledlove, spirituality, activism. But what sets it apart from those other discs are Tuacs strong songwriting abilities and his decision to eschew the cold nature of digital production in favor of live instrumentation and melodic backup vocalists, all of which help elevate the EP to, well, a higher level.
The album begins with the energetic swing and delicious harmonies of Sunshine before segueing into the inspirational, triumphant title track. Higher Ground is so beautifully laced with church organs and loop-worthy drums, youll find yourself praise dancing and nearly catching the Holy Ghost.
On the piano-driven Free Man, Tuac asserts his autonomy against any and all who choose to chain or lock him upIm free to love/Im free to hate/Im free to feel/And Im free to createwhether physically, mentally, or spiritually.
Youll tap your toes during the jam session that is Come Together, and youll definitely feel the power in Stronger, a soulful ode to the human spirits inexhaustible.
If there is one complaint to be had about Higher Ground, it’s the album’s length. Though an EP, it still clocks in at a brisk 15 minutes. Thankfully, the songs, while brief, feel epic in scope.
Higher Ground is, in essence, feel-good soul. Its messages of positivity, vulnerability, and fortitude in trying times are applicable to listeners from all walks of life, and thankfully the album does not come across as preachy. Instead, thanks to Tuacs powerful vocal performance, as well as production courtesy of K.C. Price, Higher Ground serves as a truly inspirational and brilliant
“Stronger Than You” (Official Video)