Born initially out of the burgeoning Manchester Soul scene, Pieces of a Man complete a jigsaw made up of influences from all over the globe. The sextet’s name comes from the debut album of Gil Scott-Heron and with their debut album Made in Pieces, the collective produce something that honours him while also delivering something that’s catchy, smooth and full of impact.
Kicking off with “Walk Out – Intro” allows us to get an insight into POAM’s sound. Walls of Gospel choir breathe harmonies through percussion that dissipates into the atmosphere. Bubbling bass notes provide texture to the mix as guitars and keyboards fill out the remaining space with cautious, Soulful noise. These elements provide a stable foundation for the remainder of Made in Pieces to sound so, so good. The Poppy vibes of “Listen” struts its way into the hips, retaining a lot of the Gospel moments while ensuring there’s a solid focus of groove heard throughout. Much like a modern day D’Angelo number, this track swings as much as it seeps into the soul.
With the overall theme of the record being about sticking to your morals and creating music for yourself, POAM create something that warrants that freedom. The jovial saxophones of “Easier”, the drawn out passages of “Climb Down” and even the history-referencing interlude of “Back of the Bus” followed by the care-free “Grits”. Each of these songs help build up the image of POAM as a band of individuals with morals and like and dislikes. The result is a record that puts positive vibes first, but isn’t afraid to dive a little deeper into its emotions too. Made in Pieces is a superb record from Pieces of a Man, and one that helps us realise that our soul is our soul, and we should do everything we can to keep it that way.