Deniz Kurtel is not just a musician, but a LED sculpture artist based in New York who has provided many a cosmic display of lights for past and present parties under the Wolf + Lamb label.
Featuring “The Marcy All-Stars”, a fictional name for the collaborators on the album, the 12 tracks that make up The Way We Live represent a rather sombre extended family affair hailing from Wolf + Lamb. Gadi Mizrahi, Tanner Ross, Soul Clap, PillowTalk, Thugfucker and Art Department’s Kenny Glasgow make guest appearances for Deniz’s second album. Sounds like quite the party, but the vibes are actually quite graceful, running at a slower pace than her debut album, which was released about a year ago.
The languid rhythm sometimes borders on dazed, especially with the first four tracks, as though cranking up the old house engine. ‘The Way We Live’ is the real opening anthem, mixing hints of hip hop and easing into ‘Hypocrite’, which then turns out to be the most energized track on the album. A curious sort of charm permeates the entire album; from here on, the humming bass lines swim alongside dreamy, atmospheric tunes.
‘Wake Me Up’ is the winning track, a playful serenade with its sultry sound and sentimental lyrics.
Listening to The Way We Live is quite the soothing experience, suited perfectly for daytime listening. While consistent in itself, and a respectable collaborative effort, Deniz Kurtel bravely lets fans know that she doesn’t subscribe to one magic formula – if you’ve heard her more club-friendly, well-received debut offering in 2011, you’d know that this album branches out in a different direction, with its mellow, alluring tones. It’s gonna take more than this to pin down a definitive style for the “queen of house”.
01. I Knew This Would Happen with Tanner Ross feat. PillowTalk
02. You Know It’s True with Gadi Mizrahi
03. Love Triangle (Instrumental) with Wolf + Lamb
04. The Way We Live with Gadi Mizrahi
05. Hypocrite with Gadi Mizrahi
06. There’s Enough For All Of Us with Gadi Mizrahi feat. Michael Franti
07. Don’t Wanna Be with Kenny Glasgow
08. Safe Word with Soul Clap feat. Navid Izadi
09. Wake Me Up with PillowTalk & Thugfucker
10. Blackness with PillowTalk & Thugfucker
11. Thunder Clap with Voices of Black
12. The Beat Drops with Tanner Ross feat. Jules Born