Rag N Bone Man – Put That Soul On Me

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Once in a blue moon a man feels genuinely lucky, blessed even. Today, I am that man as I was given the chance to review what I reckon will be one of the most sought after releases of the year. Three tracks, how can one man get so excited about three little tracks? What if they were new tracks from the amazing, soulful giant Rag ‘N’ Bone Man? What if they were all produced by Dirty Dike? What if Ronnie Bosh is on there too?

Now you can see why I am sat here feeling blessed.

I am kind of lost of for words right now but that would truly make for a shit review, so let me try.

Three tracks is not enough, it’s a horrible flirty little tease of how a full album from these two could change your whole understanding of music. To be fair it’s three tracks, three instrumentals and an acapella, not that anyone should be feeling short changed. In my opinion it’s Dike’s best production to date, it shows any naysayers or people who may see him as a one dimensional character that he has a better understanding of how to make music than most out there.

Rag ‘N’ Bone mas has truly made a name for himself over the last twelve months. From performing in front of massive crowds when he opened for Bastille on their UK tour, to winding up in the studio with the legend that is DJ Premier. He has some serious heavyweight fans world wide and I can’t think of a way his future could really look any brighter.

So, what we have here are three tracks that I know will be the soundtrack to this and many summers to come.

The project starts with the Tittle Track ‘Put That Soul On Me’ and its pure Summertime. A glorious flute loop plays beneath that incredible voice and its makes it impossible to smile. Impossible to forget anything thats bothering you for a few minutes and just sit back and listen. I cant remember the last time a tune made me smile like this. I bet it was Summer Breeze by the Isley Brothers.

Track three is upbeat over a beautiful piano loop and features the one and only Ronnie Bosh. If track one was barbecue music and track two is blues on the front porch then this is a smoke and whisky filled blues club. Bosh blesses the track with a verse that fits perfectly and it’s definitely the track I would most like to hear live.

Side One finishes far too soon with a drug filled tune like you have never heard. It doesn’t so much as talk about being high as gets you high. The baseline feels like its originates inside your stomach, not the speakers. Dike has picked the perfect saxophone sample and placed it simply over a drum and a clap. Stripped right back to allow the Boneman to sing, really sing.

He has a voice like he has been singing blues for decades, full of pain and emotion and a peerless ability to tell a story. It is no fluke that he has been so well received. He is the most gifted singer I have ever heard in my 34 years on this earth. Words really cant explain the power the man has in his voice.

I have to take my hat of to Dike, this would be a daunting project for any producer but he has absolutely surpassed himself. He really is a very talented beat-maker and I always laugh when I read comments about him appealing to one very small market or being a bit of a one trick pony. I challenge anyone to play me a better produced album this year.

If you have ever doubted Dike then shame on you, this is the body of work that will show the world exactly how talented a producer he really is. In my opinion this is a turning point for the label and if any project was going to do well at an international level it’s this. All it will take is for a few big names to get behind it and we could really see this become the biggest selling release from a UK label. It appeals to such a wide audience it simply can’t be labelled as UK hip hop and deserves every success.

Thank you Gents, you have made a classic.

Review By James Matlock

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