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The Foreign Exchange - Authenticity

by +FE on June 9, 2010 at 6:13 AM · Comments
"Authenticity" is the 3rd full-length from indie-soul duo The Foreign Exchange.

Picking up where their 2008 Grammy-nominated "Leave It All Behind" set left off, "Authenticity" is the group's most diverse work to date, with a tight, 11-track song cycle spanning the duo's trademark brand of lush electronic soul, to stripped down acoustic pieces that recall the heyday of 70's singer-songwriter driven folk.

Lead single "Maybe She'll Dream Of Me" is a playful, synth-driven hip-hop groove featuring a rapped verse from Phonte that evokes the band's "Connected" era, while the epic opener "The Last Fall" finds Phonte singing some of his most cynical lyrics to date ("Love is at worst an excuse/at best it's a truce...") over a frenzied Nicolay production jammed with layers of strings, guitars, and dense choral harmonies.

"I think every band reaches that point when they come into their own and find a sound that is distinctively theirs," says Phonte in reference to the album's title. "The title refers to me and Nic's journey to find our own unique space within this vast musical landscape. The biggest challenge as a musician is to find that 'thing' that makes you who you are. But I think we're getting there, and we're finding our way more and more with each record."

Featuring guest appearances from longtime contributors YahZarah, Darien Brockington, Zo! and Median, and also relative newcomers Chantae Cann and Jesse Boykins III, "Authenticity" hits stores 10/12 on +FE Music.

Tracklisting
01. The Last Fall
02. Authenticity
03. Eyes To The Sky
04. All Roads
05. Fight For Love
06. Maybe She'll Dream Of Me
07. Don't Wait
08. Make Me A Fool
09. Everything Must Go
10. Laughing At Your Plans
11. This City Ain't The Same Without You
Music Videos
Reviews
''The Foreign Exchange go from strength to strength, and this is one of my albums of the year.'' - for Oh Drat [Click here to read the full review]
''Authenticity documents The Foreign Exchange's still-continuing drive towards defining itself, and one expects that the next chapter might very well find the group inhabiting a vastly different place from the one captured on Authenticity. '' - Ron Schepper for Textura [Click here to read the full review]
''With Authenticity, they have further expanded their sound to include elements of blues, folk and country with equal amounts of love and respect. Their sound is a constant evolution of ideas from the classically trained and experimental Nicolay and the American R&B and hip-hop sensibilities of Phonte that never fails to surprise with its complexity and beauty.'' - Norman Mayers for Nu-Soul Magazine [Click here to read the full review]
''The Netherlands to North Carolina never felt so close together.'' - Scotty Pippen for URB [Click here to read the full review]
''A work of hushed intimacy and unabashed romanticism that uses synthesizers to create incongruously organic, natural-sounding grown-folks R&B.'' - Nathan Rabin for The A.V. Club [Click here to read the full review]
''Clocking in at 38 minutes, Phonte and Nicolay (aka the 21st Century indie version of The System) have created an album that many have tried their entire careers to make. By questioning the genuineness of romantic relationships (some may call it cynicism), Phonte and Nicolay have made the personal universal. Quite an accomplishment.'' - Stephen Johnson for New York Amsterdam News [Click here to read the full review]
''The team of Phonté Coleman and Nicolay continue on their foray of making beautiful soul music with a sound similar to their last album, the heralded Leave It All Behind.'' - for The Napster Blog [Click here to read the full review]
''Where Leave It All Behind was an ode to being in love, Authenticity trafficks in stories of exhaustion, resignation, and quiet, mannered desperation that find the group exploring new musical territories.'' - Craig Jenkins for Potholes In My Blog [Click here to read the full review]
''Authenticity amply lives up to the high expectations created by previous Foreign Exchange releases. It’s easy to forget that it’s only the group’s third release, given how highly revered they are on the indie soul scene. When you consider how much Nic and Phonte’s music has developed over the course of those three albums, Authenticity is nothing short of outstanding.'' - for SoulCuts [Click here to read the full review]
''The Foreign Exchange have made yet another formidable entry into their catalog, seemingly impervious to outside forces in a genre of music that’s got a hard-on for conformity. '' - Sean Kantrowitz for Okayplayer [Click here to read the full review]
''An adult contemporary record that is actually musically and emotionally sophisticated in the vein of Van Morrison, Paul Simon, Peter Gabriel, and Everything But the Girl (...), cementing the Foreign Exchange as one of the artists at the forefront of contemporary R&B's avant-garde.'' - Tal Rosenberg for Pitchfork [Click here to read the full review]
''Authenticity is a concise, cohesive effort that finds The Foreign Exchange again successfully pushing the boundaries of R&B, soul, electronic music, and hip-hop.'' - Andrew Martin for Prefix Magazine [Click here to read the full review]
''The third chapter in The Foreign Exchange's saga does what any good page-turning novel does--it engrosses you in a tale, then just when you think you have everything figured out and know what's going to happen next, the plot twists, throwing you for a loop. Authenticity is the latest twist for The Foreign Exchange, and their musical story is only getting juicier. '' - Butta for SoulBounce [Click here to read the full review]
''Authenticity is a must-buy for R&B fans, not to mention one of the most musically pleasing examples of international relations.'' - Kelsey Miller for Live Music Guide [Click here to read the full review]
''During the entire set Nicolay provides Phonte the perfect platform for him to talk about the ups and downs of love which allows “Authenticity” to serve as another reminder of how well these two work together. '' - Kil for The Couch Sessions [Click here to read the full review]
''If you’ve loved or even been deep in like, this album will resonate with you beyond some comparison of albums or desire for the familiar. Experiences like this album are why The Foreign Exchange Music group is my currently my favorite musical brand right now and for the foreseeable future. In a time where folks aren’t talking musical chances because the dollar has trumped expression, and being hot is more important than being good, Authenticity stands out just like the leaf on the album cover.'' - Saule Wright for Soulections.com [Click here to read the full review]
''With their third album and second full soul offering continues to show Phonte’s harmonic prowess and Nicolay’s versatility.'' - Bunneh3000 for Blogcritics Music [Click here to read the full review]
''Breakups are the worst; but whether you’re fresh out of a split or still living in a relationship that ended months or years ago, being authentic to yourself can help get you through it. With their combo of lucid lyrics and matching instrumentals, Foreign Exchange can show you how.'' - William Ketchum for The Well Versed [Click here to read the full review]
''Nicolay and Phonte have released another certified classic that will surely be regarded as one of, if not the, best release of 2010.'' - Soul UK for Soul UK [Click here to read the full review]
''Authenticity is the music that represents the love of our generation, and we have plenty of love to give, despite what previous generations may think.'' - for Rawemag [Click here to read the full review]
''Ultimately, Authenticity showcases the individual and collective growth of The Foreign Exchange. Dutch producer Nicolay is known for his dense and sleek recordings, but here he strips his sound, leaving room for Phonte’s burgeoning abilities as a songwriter and composer. The duo’s new album won’t help you find love, but it could help you stay in it.'' - Marcus J. Moore for Washington City Paper [Click here to read the full review]
''Authenticity, is a love letter, but one told in reverse, and one that sees no point in sparing feelings.'' - Rebecca Haithcoat for LA Weekly [Click here to read the full review]
''Authenticity is unadulterated truth, innocent candor and sheer genius.'' - Nekeya O'Connor for ThisIsRealMusic [Click here to read the full review]
''More moody, modern R&B that sounds like nothing else and reveals remarkable depth, Authenticity is neither an everyday nor an every-day album, unless playing it is necessary for the sake of convalescence. '' - Andy Kellman for allmusic [Click here to read the full review]
''Authenticity's uniquely autumn atmosphere, matter-of-fact vocals, and august, love weary lyricism invites travellers into yet another magical world orbiting in FE's ever-expanding electro-soul universe.'' - L. Michael Gipson for SoulTracks [Click here to read the full review]
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