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Album of the
Soul Express Album of the Month - October 2006
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US Orpheus / HUSH CD, 2006
1) Until The End Of Time 2) Transitions 3) Hold On Me 4) How Can I 5) Can’t Get My Flow
6) Stay And Talk To Me 7) More Than Friends 8) Superman 9) Tell Me About It 10) Heaven
11) What Ch’all Waiting For 12) Superstar / Wind Beneath My Wings
"Transitions" is the strongest and most solid work from Freddie Jackson for at least
a decade. It has also been a very successful effort as the first single lifted from here,
the opening sweetner "Until The End Of Time" made it to number one on Billboard’s Hip Hop
/ R&B chart. With artists like Freddie hitting the top spot, and Kem also should
this not be telling the idiots at the record companies something?! Although not
my kind of ballad, the single has hit all the right spots as far as the general public
in the US has been concerned and is rightly one of THE ‘wedding songs’ for 2006.
I am so pleased for the man, and am more pleased with this CD. It is very much a
Freddie Jackson album but perfectly moulded – probably cleverly – to today’s more
transient, and fickle, ear. This is not to say that it’s a sop to the hoodie wearing
bling crowd – far from it. Beau and Charlie Huggins are in the driving seat and
artists such as Marc Nelson and the evergreen and all too silent Paul Laurence
also have input. I was impressed with Marc’s 1991 set "I Want You" which contained
some real corkers, and he has spun his magic onto Freddie here and now in 2006.
I have four killers on here – all absolutely essential, but to be fair there isn’t really
a bad or unlistenable track on the album. My first star pick is the delightful bubbler,
"Hold On Me", which is unashamedly 2006 but has more roots in classic R&B than many
other songs. Freddie is atop of his form on these types of cuts; delivery is effortless
and soulful, rich and plaintive. The addictive rhythm and the synth and keys all
transform this into a very moreish morsel indeed.
"Can’t Get My Flow" leaped out at me from the word go. It is a classic Paul Laurence
midtempo number and I am so pleased that these two giants are together again.
Whenever Freddie and Paul collaborate magic is sure to be the result. I cannot recommend
this track enough, but I only wished that Paul had more input on this album –
better still release another solo set. It's been 17 years since "Underexposed"
and don’t I know it.
The best ballad by far on here for my money is the AWESOME "More Than Friends" which is a
Marc Nelson number. This song is a wonderful track, albeit very similar to a few other
songs. Imagine the lovechild of Demetrius Perry’s "Another World" and
Al B. Sure!’s "Night And Day" and there you have "More Than Friends.
This song is very much its own entity, though, but the comparison should get you
Another monster tune is Freddie’s cover of Asaph Womack’s
"Heaven". He has taken an already great song and has sent it to the stars. This type of
groove is perfect for Freddie and is one I would like to hear more of.
The album ends on a very poignant and emotional tribute to the late, great and wholly
irreplaceable Luther Vandross. I seriously miss this man and its obvious Freddie
does too. For me it is important that artists such as Freddie continue doing what they
do as I fear that I don’t see any new talents on the horizon that could seriously be
compared to either. Today’s ephemeral anti-culture has seen to that, along with the
scheming and penny-pinching record companies who want nothing but a quick buck and
then move onto the next foul-mouthed rapper or clone.
There is also a second disc which is a limited edition DVD which features many of Freddie’s
videos. These are all the bonafide videos – "Rock Me Tonight", "Tasty Love",
"He’ll Never Love You (Like I Do)", and "Rub Up Against You" – and they’re all on here.
I’m not into music videos at all, but these are nice to have nonetheless. It certainly
makes this a very satisfying and worthwhile purchase. This album and what it has achieved
should be celebrated and given as much exposure as possible. It’s in all our interests to
do this. Please ensure that this CD becomes part of your next CD order or download.
- Barry Towler
Other Fresh CD Reviews
of the Month in 2006
of the Month in 2005
of the Month in 2004
of the Month in 2003
of the Month in 2002
of the Month in 2001
of the Month in 2000
of the Month in 1999
of the Month in 1998
of the Month in 1997
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