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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Cornell C. C. Carter

In the Moment

Review by Gary Hill

If you like classic R&B and soul, particularly with a modern flair, you really need to check out this CD. It has such a timeless sound. So much of it feels like long lost classics from a by-gone era. Yet, there are modern things here, too. Even those, though, get covered in some seriously retro textures. This is a strong disc from start to finish, with only a couple less than spectacular moments. Even those only miss by a small amount.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2016  Volume 3 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Beautiful

The groove that opens this is packed with fusion. The cut alternates between that and a more soaring old school soul sound. This feels like the kind of thing that could have come out in the 1970s. It’s really classic in so many ways.

The Show
Piano start this with some strings over the top on the introduction. Piano alone serves as the backdrop for the first vocals. That vocal is spoken, with the words followed by a sung reiteration. The strings return as this continues. That same pattern of spoken followed by the sung repetition continues here. This is a fairly short piece. That’s kind of a good thing because I don’t think it works as well as some of the rest. It is pretty, though.
Lady of My Dreams
It might be clichéd, but harp starts a song about dreams. Then a cool old school soul groove takes control from there. This really has a timeless sound.
My Folks
Here we are brought into hip hop territory. This is, again, old school stuff. It makes me think of some of the Prince and the New Power Generation stuff. Parts of it are sung and parts are rapped. I like the horns on the piece. The whole thing is very classy. I can make out hints of things ranging from Stevie Wonder to Will Smith on this.
Together
The classic soul trip continues with this energetic number. The rhythm section is a bit on the bouncy side. The vocals really bring this one home with an old school sound.
Lala Means I Love You ft. Narada Michael Walden
This cut feels like a Motown ballad. It has strings and classic sounds.
Sunshine ft. Rich Aguon

The funk really lives on this thing. In fact, in a lot of ways, it makes me think of Rick James. You can’t get much more legitimate funk than that.

When You Smile
There is definitely a Motown vibe in the house. Add to that some James Brown and some Stevie Wonder, and you will be in the right neighborhood. This is so classy and tasty.
Too Late ft. Aaron Green
This one has some hip hop in the mix. Strangely enough there are also some hints of progressive music on parts of this. It’s a cool R&B groove that’s more modern in tone.
Bobblehead
This groove has some definite links to that Prince NPG connection. I can hear some Parliament here, too. This is funky and modern. Ties to something like Herbie Hancock’s electronic period seem present, too. This is fun stuff.
Show Me
A mellower soul groove is the concept behind this. It’s not one of the best tunes here, but that’s more about the competition than anything lacking in this piece.
Where Do We Go?
I really love the vocal arrangement on this. There are modern hip hop-like stylings built into the cut, but it’s also quite jazzy. This journey is a powerful one from both a lyrical and musical perspective. Again I’m reminded quite a bit of Stevie Wonder in a lot of ways.
Zoom (Stepper's Mix)
The first section of this is sans instrumental accompaniment. This is kind of the “odd man out.” Parts of it has some pretty cheesy sounding music. Other parts are very classic in nature. The cut also seems to run a bit long. That said, the saxophone solo really works particularly well.

 

 
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