Review by Brandon Watts & Staff
Back in 1968, at Eastside High School in Paterson, New Jersey, a music group called The Fantastic Gems was born. After graduation, the talented musicians went off to college, the military, and new careers. Years later, two of the original band members reformed in Washington D.C. as "Coast 2 Coast" and began recording and performing from 1986 to 1990. In 2016, The Fantastic Gems got back together to fulfill a promise they made to each other when they were young students in New Jersey. The result of their reunion was the release of The New Old Skool. The project took three years from conception to completion and was released June, 2019. The album is a tribute to their musical roots, and was made in recognition of the community who encouraged, supported and shaped their musical spirit. The New Old Skool features 11 great songs that fans of R & B,Gospel, Pop, and Jazz will love. Off the album, "Song In My Heart" will sing to you.
Coast 2 Coast’s Feat. The Fantastic Gems’ “Song In My Heart” demonstrates the groups elite musicianship through a mesmerizing arrangement with positive vibes that are sure to get you in a good mood. The song opens with a jazzy drum solo with intricate rhythms and a tight groove. Gripping your attention, this solo is met by a fanfare of harmonious horns that chime in with swinging melodies.
As the arrangement continues, upright bass bounces tightly with the drums holding everything together as smooth phrases from piano make their way into the core of the instrumental arrangement. However engaging the instrumental arrangement is, it does not take away from the main event of the song, the classic R & B vocals that fuel the song with up-beat positive vibes backed with harmonious layers of background vox.
“There's a song that lives inside my heart that's been there for such a long time, it's a, simple diddy hook with a run, that brings pleasure to me every time. When I'm sad and can't go on, I hum a bars of my song. It reveals the joy within, there I go, I'm smiling again.”
The lyrics of the song perfectly capture what Coast 2 Coast is all about. Not only is the song in their heart, it will also become part of yours as their music fills your life with their contagious joy.
It is hard to imagine this group having careers before music. Every note sung and played seems to come from a place that has always been. You don't get to hear music like this too often. Coast 2 Coast Feat. The Fantastic Gems have brought back a lost art of old school R & B and they do it as well as their contemporaries who hit the charts. Between the dynamic vocals and riveting instrumental breaks, “Song in My Heart” is another record to love from Coast 2 Coast Feat. The Fantastic Gems.
Make sure to check out more of their music on Spotify.