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Soul Express CD Review

Melba Moore: Never Say Never CD

MELBA MOORE
Never Say Never
US Funky Town Grooves CD, 2011
The original release on US Capitol 1983

1) Love Me Right 2) Keepin' My Lover Satisfied 3) Got To Have Your Love 4) Livin' For Your Love 5) It's Really Love 6) Never Say Never 7) Lovin' Touch 8) Lean On Me
CD reissue bonus track:
9) Love Me Right - Extended Remix



The welcome deluge of Melba Moore album reissues continues apace with 1983’s SUPERB “Never Say Never”. THAT classic sound of Paul Lawrence and Kashif at their early 80s best shines through on every track and at the time of writing the UK is experiencing the warmest weather this year...this music, beautifully crafted and elegantly paced soulful dance music is perfect for these climes... seriously, folks, nothing can beat a cool, crisp 80s midtempo groove!

I have to jump straight to track four which, to me, sums up in sound more than any words can say about CLASS, SOPHISTICATION and STYLE. “Livin’ For Your Love” rates as one of my favourite 1980s cuts, period! Paul Lawrence is nothing less than a genius on this stunning example of floaty midtempo summer soul, and backing vocals from Lillo Thomas and Freddie Jackson make this extra special. Rahni Harris and Beau Huggins also contribute to this making it a true ‘spine-tingling’ effort.

Other names make an appearance too...the late, great, Wayne Braithwaite, drummer extraordinaire Omar Hakim, Ira Siegal on sax and Bashiri Johnson on percussion amongst many other talents. The opening song, “Love Me Right” flows straight on from where the vibe of “The Other Side Of The Rainbow” left off, and still to this day it reminds me of “Love’s Comin’ Atcha”. But so what? It’s a doozey of a groove!

The Freddie Jackson co-penned effort “Never Say Never” also hits high standards and the music is pitched just right for Melba’s clear, concise and sassy chops. Very little about this era, this album or this Lady disappoints and nice to know the Lady is working on a new set! Until then we have the mighty and esteemed Donald Cleveland and the gang at Funkytown Grooves USA to thank for getting this crackle, vinyl-rip-free, album released to us at a good price! More power to ‘em, that’s what I say. With so many quality 80s releases on the market and so few quality soul releases today expect more and more of the same...the good times are back! Or did they ever truly go away?!

-Barry Towler

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