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Soul Express Album of the Month

November 1997

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(US DV CD, 1997)
1) Show Me 2) True Love 3) Love Is on the Way 4) I'll Do Anything 5) And All I Do 6) Lullaby 7) I Am a Spy 8) I'll Be There 9) For Your Love 10) Borrowed Time 11) Maybe I'm Amazed 12) Untitled

As a debut set, Untitled by Billy Porter is extremely strong, and is situated firmly in the more traditional and quality soul mode. This is a set that one could have expected from the late '80s or the early '90s. The guy himself has a very strong voice that he employs with good effect. The set is consistent, and starts in a really strong manner with his faithful cover of Glenn Jones' 1984 classic, Show Me.
The music here is all-real, filled with live instruments, and does the record a great service. I have too many favourites to actually describe the whole album, but I'll pinpoint a few cream cuts. The funky, slap guitar filled I'll Do Anything is as good as anything I've heard this year, and complements Billy's vocal talents perfectly. For Your Love is yet another track that makes use of proper musicians, real instruments and soulful singing. Unlike most new male artists, Billy neither has to shout, whine or use risque or suggestive lyrics to make his mark - his talent and the quality production and material are more than adequate.
Check out the gorgeously delicate Maybe I'm Amazed and you'll be in no doubt about the calibre of this new young artist. The CD closes on a real quality moment: Untitled is the type of slow tune that we could have expected from Michael Wycoff on his Love Conquers All set. The warm Fender Rhodes and the vocal phrasing just ooze a timeless classy feel. This album and this artist falls into the 'sophistisoul' category without a doubt. Essential.

-Barry Towler

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