Saturday, March 9, 2013

You Got It

Got the Love

Pick Up the Pieces

Person to Person

Work to Do

Songs of the Day

Reviewing the first 5 tracks, seeing as I'm a little behind this week: "You Got It," "Got the Love," "Pick Up the Pieces," "Person to Person," and "Work to Do."  "You Got It" is a solid track to start the album off.  It's got a slightly pop-ier vibe to it, while still layin the funk down.  Reminds me of the Doobie Brothers a lil bit.  Bass is groovin, which is always a good thing.  Alan and Hamish are both singing lead on this track, and they're sounding good - I dig their exchange.  Diggin the horns on the chorus, because horns are the best.  Solid.  Just from the starting guitar lick, I knew I was gonna dig "Got the Love."  This track is sexy, and I like sexy.  Dig the group vocals.  The B section in mad funky, especially with those horns - ooooweee!  And who doesn't love some funky modulation??  The guitar mirroring Hamish's vocal line in the last verse is sweet, I love shit like that.  Funky, stanky stuff.  If anyone reading this doesn't know "Pick Up the Pieces," you might as well stop reading my blog.  One of the most famous funk tunes, period, and there's a reason for it.  I love that this is just an instrumental track, mainly featuring the horns.  It's so fucking funky.  B section is on point.  This is definitely a track I grew up with (I have the sax solo memorized), and it will remain in my library forever.  I really love the opening line of "Person to Person,"  the moan on "telephone maaaan" is fucking great.  Hamish is definitely holdin it down on this one.  Funky bass, and keys, and of course the horns are layin it the fuck down (as always).  It's funny to hear a song about there not being enough person-to-person (face-to-face) connection from back in 74, 'cause that shit's almost nonexistent now, and it's a fucking shame.  I dig it, I dig it hard.  "Work to Do" was the main reason my mom suggested this album, and boy oh boy is it the jam.  This is an Isley Brothers cover, and they definitely do it plenty of justice, and then some.  I love this guitar part, so, so funky.  Love the "doo doo"s, and all the vocals in general - Alan and Hamish are holdin it down on that co-lead. I'm all dancing in my desk chair n shit, this one's gonna be on repeat, that's for damn sure.

Album Factoids


Released: August 1974
Genre: FUNK
Label: Atlantic
Producer: Arif Marden

Average White Band: Alan Gorrie - vocals, bass, guitar; Hamish Stuart - vocals, lead guitar, bass; Roger Ball - keys, alto & baritone sax; Malcom Duncan - tenor sax; Onnie McIntyre - background vocals, guitar; Robbie McIntosh - drums, percussion
Additional Musicians: Ralph MacDonald - congas, percussion; Michael Brecker - tenor sax; Randy Brecker - trumpet; Marvin Stamm - trumpet; Mel Davis - trumpet; Glenn Ferris - trombone; Ken Bichel - mellotron

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Week 83: Average White Band

This weeks suggestion comes from my beloved mama.  I wanted to bring it back this week, because the last few albums have all been less than a year old, and she's a funky lady, so I figured she'd give me a good suggestion.  I love AWB, but I've never listened to this album in full, and I'm definitely down for some more funk in my life.  Let's get on dooooown!

This Weeks Album...

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Final Grade B/B-

This was a pretty decent album from José James, the fourth from the soul singer, but I was expecting a little something more from him.  I've seen him live, and I thought he was really good, but I don't think his performance translated as well as I would have liked it to.  The album started out strong for me, "It's All Over Your Body" is a great tune, as is "Trouble," and I wish that feel would have stayed throughout.  Especially with such great collaborators as Pino Palladino, Robert Glasper, and Chris Dave, the album had more potential than I think it achieved.  Not to say that I didn't like this album, because I definitely did, I just had high expectations for it and was slightly disappointed by the outcome.  James' voice is so soft and sultry, and I think he got lost in the instrumentation on a lot of the tracks, and I wish they had accompanied him a little better.  I thought that the album could have ended stronger as well - I wouldn't have ended it so slowly, I felt like it needed a little pick me up at the end.  I was also surprised that there weren't any crazy bass parts coming from Pino -  would have liked to hear a little more from him.  James has definitely got a good style both vocally and lyrically, but I think I like him better live than on record.  So, everyone should go see him live.

Make It Right

Bird of Space

No Beginning No End


Songs of the Day

And after some delay, I've got the final tracks up for review (not including the bonus tracks): "Make It Right," "Bird of Space," "No Beginning No End," and "Tomorrow."  "Make It Right" is definitely one of my favorite songs on the album. - I think it's one of the more cohesive tracks on the record.  James' sultry voice works really well over the keys and drums.  Chris Dave is definitely putting down some magic on this one.  Dig the instrumental break, it adds a nice feel to the groove.  Solid tune.  I don't exactly feel the same way about "Bird of Space."  I dig the darkness of the groove, but I don't think it's balanced right.  The drums are a little overpowering on a song that should probably put more focus on the guitar part.  It also seems a tad jazz lounge-esque, which isn't the best thing.  It's a simple groove, but it never changes, and at 8:38, I was craving to have some kind of change up somewhere in the tune.  A song of that length should definitely have some more sections.  James' voice suits the style well, I just would have edited the track down a lot.  As the title track, I was rather surprised that "No Beginning No End" wasn't a more upbeat number.  The groove is really chill, but I think it is a little too similar to the previous, which distracted me some.  I do love Rhodes though - it's probably my favorite sounding instrument - and Glasper plays them oh so well.  It's a decent track, but I was hoping for a little more umph from the groove and from James.  "Tomorrow" is a very sweet track, I just wish that the final songs weren't all slow.  It would have been nice to have a final pick-me-up.  The vocal/piano beginning is very sweet, and I really like the integration of strings throughout the tune.  The strings are probably the best part of this track, they provide a nice, gradual build - I wish they'd been used more throughout the album.  The deceptive ending is very cool, especially the string outro.  Solid track.