It's been two years since vocalist Anders Holst released a recording and his newest one, Soho Suite, may very well be his best. Originally from Sweden, Holst is now based out of New York. In the style of Kenny Rankin, Holst has a rich lower tenor voice that is full of deep romantic leanings that falls into either the smooth jazz or adult contemporary vein. Recorded with a variety of Swedish backing musicians and vocalists, every track is richly produced, but not over produced and is so popular these days in the smooth jazz world.
"I Will Pray" is a wonderful case in point. The guitars swish away, but are placed way in the background. With the keyboards playing sustained chords there is lots of room for Holst's luxuriant vocals to not only have plenty of sonic space, but with them being placed right up front, the resultant image is one of a full orchestral sounding weave. The backing vocals come in as the piece builds wonderfully to its conclusion adding a further tapestry of rich colors to the palette.
It's rare for a vocal album to not have some toss away songs included, but that is not the case on this recording. Holst has written or co-written every song on the disc save for one. His personal attachment to each track is readily evident. You can actually feel his heart break on "Time Is Not Waiting." On "Love Surrender," he is as passionate as good decorum will allow and on "Almost Forgotten," Holst uses a nice breathy feel to imbue the words with an exceptional hunger rarely heard by vocalists. This is a great disc of contemporary adult songs that will speak to mature adults everywhere.