With vocals that croon to a rich neo-soul, disco-funk beat, Joe Velasquez playfully gets down on the dance floor in his very own musical symphony of jazz improvisations and pop arrangements in his debut album Without Love. Like most of his songs on the album, “Without Love” is a bit of a revelation - its funkadelic melodies belies its celebration of faith and indeed, fans may be surprised to realize that this album is not only about the joys and tribulations of love, but is also a tribute to the Divine power of love. A multi-instrumentalist, Velasquez’s Without Love recalls a variety of Latin Jazz infusions, the subtle inclusion of hand drums and percussions reminding us of Velasquez’s own Latin roots and his penchant for integrating his Jazz background with feel-good funk.
Like most of the songs on the track, “Fanatic” showcases Velasquez’s power with his saxophone as it vibrates in euphoric harmony. It is clear that the saxophone is his musical true love. While the songs on this collection form an impressive overview of Velasquez’ musical versatility, it is clear Joe Velasquez possesses a poet’s soul as he levels out sweet lyrics in “Valentine, ” leaving fans wondering who his “Baby T” is. Fans will appreciate Velasquez’s unique sound even more with “Just be an Original.” While the song features Nina Ho on vocals with Velasquez crooning in the background, the song is somewhat reminiscent of electronica, neo-soul tunes, which is a small departure from his signature funkadelic disco sound, but nonetheless is a nice complement to the other songs on the track. Without Love is guaranteed to move you, if only to the dance floor.