Friday, 14 May 2010

Franchise - Dangerous - 2010 - Macman Music / Lucky Records

I would lay down money - had I any, of course - that this particular album was recorded in the 1987 - 1989 period. In those days we had great albums which contained scorching dancers and sultry ballads and we had so much to enjoy at that time of that nature. I was a huge fan of tracks such as The Dazz Band's "Body Drum", Mikki Bleu's "I Promise", Alton "Wokie" Stewart's "All Our Love", Chuckii Booker's "Turned Away", the Bar-Kays' "Are U Available", Lynch's "Magic Spell" and the Temptations' "O.A.O. Lover" then, and should these types of uptempo late 80s grooves be to your taste then boy can I recommend this set. At this time Marlon McClain was working at A&M with some of the real heavy hitters and on this CD, alongside fellow ex-Dazz Band star Nathaniel Phillips he has brilliantly created that special sound. the seven tracks on offer here are mostly uptempo, and it's here that the strengths truly lie.

This could be, in fact, an unissued Dazz Band album. I instantly fell in love with the Con Funk Shun / Bar-Kays styled tapper "Inside Out", and I would personally order the album on the strength of this cut alone. "Dangerous" is equally toothsome a delight and the slap bass, 808 drum and funky licks are right back in the late 1980s sound. Check out the freaky 80s keys. I am LOVING this!!!!! One could forgive oneself for thinking they had wandered into Cameo's "Word Up!" album on "Crazy", the beat arrangement not dissimilar to "Word Up", albeit sped up slightly. This is right up my proverbial alleyway without a doubt! "The Best" reminds me, lyrically, of the 1986 SOS band composition "Nothing But The Best" and even the synths pay huge compliment to that great group and great era. The guys sound a great deal like Cameo on this, and I for one am not going to find any fault here. Of the more relaxed songs, I recommend the Jesse Johnson flavoured "Understanding". I am so happy to be listening to material such as this it a shelved set that has only seen the light of day or a new effort with an unashamed 80s style. I embrace and welcome it totally and completely! Available from CD Baby.

Barry Towler,
The Vibe scribe