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Soul Express Album of the Month - January 2007

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Love Makes the World Go Round
(US Park Place, 2006)

1) One Love 2) Love Makes The World Go Round 3) Stay In My Arms 4) Sure Feels Good Being With You 5) Just Because 6) Love Ain't Love 7) Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow 8) Turn Out The Stars 9) Please Remember Me 10) Hook Up From The Heart 11) Waiting For You

Usually the new release scene slows down a little prior to the festive period, but not so in 2006. We were treated to quite a few toothsome delights in the run up to Christmas, and this set was indeed one of them. David Sea is, for my money, one of the best voices on the scene today and I feel that this is his best work since 1991's “Born To Sing”. In fact I would say this – if compared – was the strongest album of the two, if perhaps the least original.

The album appears to be split between the more modern stepping sound on the one hand, and a more traditional Malaco sound on the other. As such this album should have very wide appeal and please a lot of folks who are all welcome members of that oh-so-disparate church that is soul music. The album has pleasant echoes of Ali-Ollie Woodson's superb “Right Here All Along”; indeed the inclusion of “Turn Out The Stars” is as good as the aforementioned version. With performances like this it is a real pity that stature alone kept him out of the hallowed ranks of The Temptations.

My favourites seem to huddle together at the start of the album. What better than the EXCELLENT slow-mid paced “One Love” to kick off the album; a sexy loping beat and performance that David Ruffin would be proud of. This is the sort of track that begs to be played over and over again. My favourite is the essential stepping groove which is the title track, “Love Makes The World Go Round”. Fans of R Kelly's “Step In The Name Of Love” will lap this morsel up big time. The chorus is very familiar too in that it is very similar to that of Candi Staton's “Young Hearts Run Free”. Do not skip this track as it is is pure modern soul heaven and worth the price of admission alone purely for this.

“Stay In My Arms” is another winner, though it did take a few plays to accept it at all. The whole song uses the backing music to one of my all-time favourite grooves – that being Johnnie Taylor's “let's Get Back On Track”. I was initially thrown by this and not really impressed, but I tend to think of this as a completely different and separate song now. I have already mentioned “Turn Out The Stars” as being worthwhile, and a cover version that really knocked me for six was his version of the old Shirelles' 1961 hit “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow” in which David really tears it up, pours out his raw soul and makes it his own. Way to go, David! I can't usually stand cover versions, but if they are to be done then this is how to do it!

Another worthwhile cover is “Hook Up At The Heart” which can be found on Preston Glass' “Street Corner Prophecy” album.

All in all a very solid, if familiar sounding, album. One to please fans old and new. I would not overlook this album as it is definitely one of a bunch of serious must-have soul albums. Why not kick off 2007 in style?!
-Barry Towler

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