Let’s face it: it’s rough out there in today’s America. Every day the bad news keeps pouring in on us, ready to sweep us away in an anxiety-filled deluge that no amount of ark-building can keep us afloat. If you’re not careful, the pressure of the American pot-boiler might just cook you down to a fine red, white and blue stock. And it is in times like these that we forget that we’re really all the same and in need of the same things. Perhaps the most important of these shared needs is love. And I’m not referring to trite, symbolic “Hands Across America” love, or the love you might have for friends and family. I’m referring to the love of that one woman or man in your life, the one you want to be with when you turn out the lights. It’s love like that that can block out the world for brief moments. A love that can make you sane again by going crazy for that one person you can’t be without.
Such is the refreshing focus of “Make Some Room,” a gorgeous, playful, and downright groovy song from The Suffers, a ten piece soul juggernaut from Houston, Texas. Led by singer Kam Franklin, The Suffers’ sound blends classic American soul with reggae and jazz, depending on the song, to produce a full, warm, and often sexy experience.
On “Make Some Room,” the lead track from the band’s self-titled debut, Franklin and company springboard off one of America’s oldest pieces of proverbial love advice: the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. In fact, the entire narrative of the song revolves around Franklin’s wooing of man through her kitchen (insert your own dirty metaphor here). She even promises to do the dishes:
Come let me cook for you baby
Relax cuz I’m cleanin’ too
I love you like I’ve known you forever
I just need you to make some room
Trust me, Franklin’s killer voice will make you hungry for more. Her mezzo-soprano channels soul greats and certainly holds up when compared to the greats, like Gladys Knight. And the musicianship of the band is stellar, as well as smart. One great example of this occurs when Franklin asks the man in the song, “do you want a michelada?” as the conga coyly slips into a Latin beat. This and other musical highlights, like a sharp, harmonius horn section and a super-tight rhythm section turn “Make Some Room” into a song that barring the presence of your own soul you just can’t help but move to. And did I mention it’s sexy, too. Somewhere in Soul Heaven, Barry White must smile down in approval as Franklin sings:
You can show me off
To everyone you know
You can trust that I’ll act like a lady
Until you take me home.
Forgive me if I sound old-fashioned, but I think most available men would melt like fondue if they were told that. And it’s this sort of playful, erotic, and downright danceable feel that puts “Make Some Room” at the top of the contemporary soul heap.
Again, the sort of focused, basic, and unpretentious approach that Franklin and company bring to “Make Some Room” is a bona-fide cure for whatever may be ailing you. So, the next time the day-to-day slugfest of modern American life plants a roundhouse on your kisser, grab the hand of that special someone, pour yourself a glass of your favorite libation, turn the lights down low, and let The Suffers feed you the love. I promise you won’t go hungry.