A little under two years since Thee Idea Men released their first full-length album, the Philadelphia-based group has followed up with a superb new album titled New Level Shoes. In a similar vein to their first album Getcho Groo Von, their second offering is filled with the same great funk and was recorded at the MilkBoy Studio in Philadelphia. While the group has traveled extensively they don’t neglect the locals and will often do shows in Philly.
Right out of the gate New Level Shoes starts on a strong note which never eases up throughout the whole album, ending on an even stronger note than it started. Fans of Thee Idea Men will not be disappointed, and will be pleased at the great mix of funk, punk, and rhythm and blues of this album. The group’s love of what they do come through clearly on every one of the fun tracks. Anyone who knows Thee Idea Men’s music knows they don’t take themselves very seriously and yet each one of the members is a true musician in his own right, so that when they come together you can be assured of great music.
The opening track “Help Me Mama” and the one immediately following it “Natural Gravitation” are great blues rock tracks that are difficult to avoid jiving to. Up next is the title track which is in a smooth funk style. The next two tracks are “I Don’t Know (I Can’t See)” and “Shake It,” and it is on these two tracks where the musical talent of both the bass and lead guitarists truly shines. The combined efforts of bass and lead guitarists plus the versatility of Thee Idea Men’s drummer makes every transition appear effortless. Their next track “Please” is evidence of how comfortable the band is in throwing in an easy-listening jazz-rock ballad to the mix.
“All the While” has a catchy, slightly country style to it and then is followed up by three tracks that are without a doubt worth listening to over and over again. In fact the entire album just gets better each time it is listened to. Fans of Thee Idea Men will not be in the least bit disappointed in New Level Shoes!