Rooted in jazz, soul and blissed-out dance music, Urban Dwellers are poised to make the strains of life evaporate away. Shop Worn Angel, a collection of cool, grown-up ambient tracks gently directed by a sweet, understated vocal, is certainly music that demands very little effort. "Lover Man", a languid take on the classic jazz standard, gently nudges the album into action. This mind-caressing mood permeates the whole project. Vocalist Sarah Weller possesses a fine voice, wrapping her sultry tones around a selection of original head-nodding tunes, while reinterpreting oldies like Nat King Cole's "On The Street Where You Live" as intelligent, modern chill-out. Admittedly it's the height of coffee table introspection, often wandering into that dangerous territory marked noodling. However, the idea is simple: place CD in tray, pour large, iced drink, hop into hammock and let this nouveau jazz with a twist relax you like musical valium. Feeling better? --Paul Tierney
Urban Dwellers - Shop Worn Angel, 9 July 2002 By Mr. L. Stanley (Lincoln, Lincolnshire, UK)
A fantastic mix of jazz and chilled out dance. The Urban Dwellers have been wandering around on the underground jazz scene for years and now, after being picked up by Hed Kandi, have released a groundbreaking debut album.
Stunning vocals from Sarah Weller and expertly mixed beats are evident throughout and Driftin' is based around some amazing guitar harmonies.
Combined, this makes Shop Worn Angel a great album for work or relaxation
Sit down, relax and let all your worries drift away with the warm inviting sound of the 'Shop Worn Angel', the debut album from Urban Dwellers. The sounds at work deliver a mix of jazz, funk and soul that perfectly melt together to create a collection of distinctive tracks all wrapped up with the stunning vocals of Sarah Weller. The album contains classic standards such as Marvin Gaye's 'Inner City Blues' and Nat King Cole's 'On The Street Where You Live', all beautifully constructed and dripping with feeling. Original material is particularly strong and shows what talent this band possesses. Listen to 'Russian Suite' and try not to be moved or feel the jazz funk vibe of 'Baby I Dont Know..' featuring Arthur Collins. All in all this is an album of stark beauty and one that should be listened to by those with even a passing interest in contemporary jazz, folk, and soul. 8/10. Gavin Wilson (BBM April 02)
The Urban Dwellers were formed from the three existing members of the Jazz Vandall's, as the music was moving away from instrumental house into something more vocal and rooted in jazz and chilled out beats. Sarah Weller joined the Jazz Vandall's in 1996 with the album 'A Change In Jazzitude' but it was the following album 'Freshly Squeezed' that caught the attention of Hed Kandi boss Mark Doyle who promptly put 'Beyond My Imagination' onto Serve Chilled. After seeing Sarah sing her version of Lover Man at the Perrier Young Jazz Awards he commisioned a Jazz Vandall's version of it for Winter Chill. This track was picked up by the ITV network and used to trail Peak Practice over the christmas and new year period of 1999.
It was then that Mark Doyle suggested that the Urban Dwellers should record a whole album of similarly styled music. The first track to come from the Urban Dwellers was featured on jazz fm's label on an album entitled 'Spirit Of The Street - The Very Best Of Inner City Cool' with a cover of Marvin Gaye's 'Inner City Blues'. A new darker mix of Lover Man was recorded for Hed Kandi's Deeper compilation which was promptly picked up by US record label owner Scott Richmond from Satellite Records, New York, remixed by Satoshi Tomie and Blackwatch and has been released on two 12" April 2002 worldwide, picking up support from John Digweed, Sasha, Rowan Blades, Parks & Wilson, Hybrid, and Sander Klienenbergand BBC radio 1's Pete Tong. It has already been licensed to several high profile compilations such as Telstar's White Label Euphoria, Dave Seamans Global Underground in Melbourne and Hed Kandi's Deeper 01/02.