Sweden has had its share of successful musical exports with sugary-sweet pop acts like ABBA, Ace of Base, and Roxette. Vocalist Stephen Simmonds, however, embraces a slick R&B sound that indicates he has been listening to a lot of Babyface and Stevie Wonder recordings. Simmonds, who previously provided guest vocals on fellow Swede Christian Falk's album Quel Bordel, has crafted a smooth-as-silk debut release that should please fans of retro-soul superstars like D'Angelo and Maxwell. Featuring collaborations with producers Soulshock (Mary J. Blige, Chico DeBarge) and Raphal Saadiq (the Roots, Tony Toni Tone), the ballad-heavy Spirit Tales may be lacking in originality, but the sultry grooves in songs such as "I Can't Do That" and "I Hope U Do" prove Simmonds is capable of creating modern make-out music at its finest. Spirit Tales is a promising debut album from the sexy and talented Simmonds, and he proves music from Sweden doesn't always sound like "Dancing Queen."
Performance CreditsStephen Simmonds Primary Artist,Bass,Keyboards,Vocals,Background Vocals,Rainstick,fender rhodes
Mija Folkesson Background Vocals
Joakim Milder Tenor Saxophone
Johan Ekelund Keyboards
Henrik Janson Guitar
Per Lindvall Percussion,Drums
Raphael Saadiq Guitar
Esbjörn Svensson Synthesizer,Piano,Keyboards,Piano (Grand)
Per "Texas" Johansson Saxophone
Magnus Öström Percussion,Drums
René Martínez Percussion,Conga
Pal Svenre Piano
Lisa Nilsson Track Performer
Goran Kajfeš Trumpet
Technical CreditsJohan Ekelund Producer
Femi Fern drum programming
Raphael Saadiq Producer,drum programming
Magnus Frykberg drum programming
Maggie Magarian Art Direction
Art Shoji Art Direction
Stephen Simmonds Producer,drum programming
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Spirit Tales based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
I just met Stephen in NYC recently and he performed several songs from his new album. The album and the performance were great! He is an extremely nice person. Please buy this album. Well worth the money!
I'm looking at this website, wondering what does clean mean? I wonder what version I have! I absolutely loved that first track, and the man is a cutie and I'm always searching for an alternative to bumpin and grindin R&B (Maxwell is the MAN), so unlike most of my CD investments (because I am not a single buyer) I took the plunge and bought Spirit Tales without the second song approval. Boy was I kicking myself that first week. I didn't like anything on it, because the last two albums I bought in this genre were instant magic! This one needed time. I now can listen to it all the way through, and I love the accent. And the lyrics are okay (that's what I'm talkin' about), which makes me curious because you can't say things better than in your home language so his Europe stuff must be good. I guess you just have to get lost in the smaller pleasures of the album (such as the sitar part of track 3 and the pleading to be patient with him on track 8) to really like it. And first time I truly admit that I do.