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The English Project welcomes listeners to the party on new single 'It Takes Time'


I don’t typically make comparisons when describing a new recording; it strikes me as lazy. But sometimes the connection is too obvious, and the elephant in the room is unavoidable. In the case of the upstate New York soul-funk band The English Project, its drummer and vocalist Chris “Hollywood” English sounds a lot like the Rev. Al Green. English is one of the best singers Rochester has to offer, and The English Project’s new single “It Takes Time,” out digitally this weekend, is a positively soul-shakin’ beauty, featuring the frontman on organ.

For this tune, the mics in the room feel like flies on the wall of a joyful and cacophonous party. You can thank producer Matt Ramerman for keeping the rubber on the road. As always with The English Project, the music’s chaotic and infectious — whether you dig a big scoop of the band’s mighty soul sound live or in the studio, where the jams that keep the boat afloat are undeniable.

That said, “It Takes Time,” written by English with co-vocalist Tenzin Chopak, fits comfortably among The English Project’s pantheon of laid-back soul songs with mellow-jam chasers. It’s being released on iTunes, Spotify, and Soundcloud to get fans primed for more music, as the band plans to put out a new single each month from now until June.

Frank De Blase is CITY’s music writer. He can be reached at