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GERALD LEVERT: – Father and Son
US EastWest 61859, 1995

1) For the Love 2) I Got Your Back 3) Already Missing You 4) Wind Beneath My Wings 5) I Got You 6) Get Your thing off 7) You Need Love 8) Don't Make Me Beg 9) You're Hurting Me 10) I'm Savin' Your Place 11) You Got Your Hooks in Me 12) The Apple Don't Fall

This CD was bound to appear sooner or later, and I'm glad that it did, because it's a mighty fine record. Even though this Levert family does sidekick projects every now and then, they are quick to reassure you that the nucleus groups, The O'Jays and Levert, continue to record normally.

  This set is produced and mostly written by Gerald Levert and Edwin "Tony" Nicholas with daddy Eddie together with Dwain Mitchell contributing on three tracks (Get Your Thing Off, You Need Love, You're Hurting Me), which, however, are not the standout cuts here. Of the two outside tunes, Wind Beneath My Wings has seen many great black covers (L.J. Reynolds, Gladys Knight, The Mighty Clouds Of Joy plus numerous others), and even though the Leverts’ version isn't one of the most rousing ones, I was still attracted to their emotional interpretation. Bunny Sigler’s powerful ballad, You Got Your Hooks In Me, was originally done by The O'Jays for their '73 Ship Ahoy album, and is intensively repeated here.

  However, it's the pleading, beautiful and deep new ballads - the first single Already Missing You, Don't Make Me Beg, I'm Savin' Your Place, The Apple Don't Fall - that this twosome can let loose on, show some great vocal interplay, improvised and intense singing and also let their father & son sentiments flow free. Don't be put off by the uninteresting opening shuffler or a couple of ordinary mid-pacers, but let yourself get carried away by the glory of those many magnificent ballads. (Rating: 9/10) -HS

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