Life On The Back 9 bursts with the same sense of positivity and release as the gospel churches it turns to for inspiration, yet Parker seems more interested in banging the club than the Bible. Tracks like "GOD HE Is" and "Open Up Your Spirit" may have praise-the-lord diva vocals, but preaching is kept to a minimum. "Pentecost" begins with a sample of a Bible reading, but it soon turns into a rousing deep house track that could even get Richard Dawkins raving. The pounding pianos and euphoric breakdowns of "Night Light" or the title track are as much about the sensual as the spiritual, as are the tight and downright sexy basslines that wriggle throughout nearly every track.
Now seems a particularly good time for Parker to be plying this string and diva-drenched sound again. That peers like Moodymann are now an almost ubiquitous presence in European clubs—as opposed to the elusive figure he was when Seven Strong Songs came out—shows that Detroit's house underground is more in the limelight than ever. If you're looking for soulful house done right, Life On The Back 9 offers you a fairway to heaven.