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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Pat Boone

R&B Duet Hits

Review by Gary Hill

This is quite an intriguing set. We get Pat Boone paired with a lot of different artists for classic R&B tunes. Overall, I’d say it’s pretty effective. The musical treatments are generally old school, but there are some more modern things here. Sometimes I tend to think that Boone’s vocals are a little too tame (for lack of a better term, "too vanilla") and “by the numbers,” but it works more often than not. Overall, I’d consider this quite a good set.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2016  Volume 1 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag with James Brown

The intro on this is a bit cheesy. When it gets to the song proper, though, this is classic R&B jamming. It’s funky and the vocals work well.

Soul Man with Sam Moore
This one works well. It’s a bit like the Blues Brothers version to me. It has a cool retro arrangement and really manages to rock.
Get Down Tonight with KC & The Sunshine Band
It’s kind of cool how they almost bring a James Brown vibe to this old classic. I love the funky breakdown midtrack.
Tears of a Clown with Smokey Robinson
The arrangement on this reminds me of “Pop Muzik” by M. I like this one, but not as much as some of the rest.
Celebration with Robert Kool Bell of Kool & The Gang
There’s a bit of a hip hop introduction, beyond that, this is a funk jam. It’s fun, and stronger than the last one.
I Can ‘t Help Myself with The Four Tops
Now, this is just so much fun. I love this song here. It’s probably my favorite of the set.
A Woman Needs Love with Ray Parker Jr.
This one doesn’t work as well as the last one did, but it is still pretty effective.
We Are Family with Joni Sledge of Sister Sledge
I love the funk bass on this thing. The vocal duet works well, too. This is a fun and energetic piece. It’s another highlight of the set for sure.
Shotgun with Gerald Albright
This is really a lot of fun. I love the jazzy instrumental work on this thing.
That’s the Way of the World with Earth, Wind & Fire
I dig the soulful groove of this song. The vocal arrangement works really well, too. This is another highlight of the set.
Backbone with Kool Moe Dee
I like this one. It’s variety. The hip hop aspect and raps are cool. The sung vocals work really well, too. This is the most modern thing on hand here. It’s a cool tune with a great message. It’s also a great way to end this in style.

 

 
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