Drink is the title of the new album from Victor Rice – Grammy-winner, producer, engineer, and musician extraordinaire – who dropped Smoke in 2017. Smoke was not only Rice’s first solo album in more than 15 years but part one of a trilogy of albums, of which Drink is the second part.
Originally from NYC, but now residing in São Paulo, Brazil, Rice recorded large portions of the album in Charleroi, Belgium, with Nico Leonard.
Rice explains, “The Charleroi sessions included recording ten rhythm tracks, about 3 minutes each, and were recorded to a single tape in one day. The following day was spent interpreting the melodies on each one. The band listened to these recordings in the van while on tour, and upon returning, the horn arrangements were recorded in one day as well. Not all of these songs made the cut; hence I did an auxiliary session in NYC with Ticklah as the guest engineer to round out the album.”
Both Smoke and Drink feature Rice’s unique blend of Samba and Rocksteady elements, a sound he calls “Samba-Rocksteady” or “SRS.”
Talking to the album’s title – Drink – Rice shares, “Most of these songs were written during a difficult period in my life, and there was a lot of drinking involved, so they were made under the influence of red wine. Once the sequence of songs was finished, it felt like a story arc, from the first glass to the last; fun, manic, introspective, lamentable, and a feeling of hopefulness at the end of it all.”
Encompassing 10-tracks, Drink begins with “La Mura,” riding an offbeat rhythm topped by seductive horns and staccato guitars.
Entry points include “Simão,” featuring an oozing Spaghetti-western savor tinted with funk-lite, along with creamy, erotic guitar licks, and sumptuous brass accents. The erogenous sway of this tune conjures up images of Sade injecting Samba washes into her sexy sophisti-pop sound.
“Bebida” features a skanky offbeat rhythm, sleazy piano coloration, and a down-and-dirty saxophone, imbuing the tune with grimy, suggestive hues. “Because I Can” leans into a definite reggae feel atop a crisp one-drop beat crowned by belching-lite horns.
Frankly, Drink doesn’t have any subpar tracks. Each song stands out with innovative sonic flows, infectious rhythms, and the genius of Victor Rice.