By People Staff
January 10, 2005 12:00 PM

Rebel Soul Music
FUNK-ROCK

CRITIC’S CHOICE

When you are named after one of the great civil-rights leaders of the 20th century, and your music strives to take on such rebel soul men as Jimi Hendrix, Sly Stone and Prince, that’s a lot to put on your guitar-strapped shoulders. But on his impressive second CD, released on his own Rebel Soul Records, Martin Luther McCoy does his forebears proud with insightful, socially conscious lyrics and the kind of righteously retro funk-rock that Lenny Kravitz wishes he could make. “In a sea of black music the water is so deep, won’t you dive in?” Luther sings on the hip-hop-rocking title track, offering a more nourishing alternative for those tired of the “fast food” being spoon-fed to them on R&B radio. And there is plenty to feast on here, from the falsetto-kissed Earth, Wind and Fire-inspired uplift of “Rise” to the Princely sex suite of “Lust” and “Truth or Dare.” With the keen urban awareness he displays on cuts like “Home.” “Sleep Walking” and “Miss America” (“Urban dreams, manicured poverty is what it seems”), Luther clearly hopes that his music shall help his people overcome. —C.A.

DOWNLOAD THIS: “Rise”

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