Wednesday, 18 February 2009

The Persuaders - Made To Be Loved - 2005 - It's Soul Time

2006 saw the release of this mighty fine album from this veteran group and album does not take prisoners and hits hard from word go!!! The harmonies really hark back to the sweet soul era, and is definitely what would be deemed "old skool", but let’s not take that on face value. The guys have not sat on their laurels and they have moved with the times but have still retained that certain magic which, I think, has a foundation in strong writing. With Richard Poindexter what else could we expect. I think this man is a lyrical master and he should be exulted more than he already is. The title song kicks in with some superb harmony, a solid groove and some vocals that would please fans of Gene Rice. This is also true for the excellent midtempo cut "Never Stop Loving You" as well, and I promise that this will not disappoint. This is group soul at its best. The song that really has me hitting repeat is the superb "Don’t Think I Won’t Leave"; a traditional, real adult R&B cut dressed in today’s clothing. I found "Mama" an intriguing song. The groove is as perky as they come, and the song is very clever as it deals with bereavement in a positive way that is precautionary more than maudlin. Good, then that the guys tackle this hard, upsetting subject with such panache.

I move onto the beautiful flute-laden "This Time Next Year which for me has a great Philly flavour to it. The meandering piano could almost be Leon Huff and the style and lyric falls into the Bunny Sigler bag of song craft. If that’s not a recommendation I don’t know what is! Following this is an interesting beat ballad that has a foundation in today’s hip hop flavour, complete with post-modern crackling vinyl effects. The tapping beat soon leads into a more well-rounded type of soul groove with scratchy guitar, piano and expansive synth. Lovely! "I Don’t Think So" falls into a mid 80s dance groove – not my favourite track but the quirky keyboards, bongos and raspy, soul tearing vocals are enough to shave the bottom off my lounge door! I rather like the cover of "A House Is Not A Home" too – I can hear the Dells doing this; their style is remarkably similar on this song. "Hypnotized" is another Dells moment – the harmonies are spine-tingling and the brass is perfectly matched. Seventies sensibilities prove yet again that they are timeless. Original group member Will B. Holland joins the group for the excellent socially conscious belter "All The People". Harold Melvin would have appreciated this sort of groove and would definitely approve of this effort. Let’s hope people are listening to these socially conscious lyrics. I think that you will need little or no persuading in purchasing this CD. Not to be missed.

Barry Towler
The Vibe Scribe

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