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Preston Glass: Elevator Speech


Elevator Speech

Perpetual Gold, 2013

Do You Deliver? – Juicy Stuff – Priceless Pearl – You Can’t Get It Back – Just Because The Camera’s On – Forever My Flame – Anyway Smile – Wish I Could Travel Back In Time – How Did We Get Here? – Love It Unconditionally – Same Tears (Different Pillow) – Elevator Speech

Even though this is Preston Glass’ fourth release this is his first solo vocal album! Apart from the legendary Thom Bell counting into “Priceless Pearl” all vocals are from the equally legendary Preston Glass himself. “Elevator Speech” is an odd title for an album until you listen to that song itself and all becomes clear. I love this album…I have played it continuously and something that I read a few weeks ago can easily be applied to this album. I had read “music is what feelings sound like”. My God, I thought, how perfect is that?!

This album is what I call holistic. Within the jewel case and on the CD is impressed a whole gamut of emotions, feelings and messages. There are flavours to reflect every conceivable mood: songs to confront people, to make you smile, put a spring in your step and yes – give us sobering thoughts. Life, Love and Mortality are on display here, and thus reminds me of the naked soul bearing that I recall from Glen Campbell’s latest and final Masterpiece, “Ghost On The Canvas”. Thus this album truly is Art reflecting life. I have always respected Preston’s work and his lyrics are neither ephemeral nor lowbrow. Musically, though, all songs are typically stylish and perfectly match the mood he is conveying. Many songs here will grab you, will infiltrate the grey matter and have you hooked – and this, dear readers, is what marks a real Artist from all the nonsense on the market today.

Seriously, I was won over within the first twenty seconds. “Can You Deliver” asks our hero, dealing with the swaggering, fronting folks that we all know. “Can you walk the walk” he asks. Well, Preston certainly does with a solid groove, plenty of solid bassline, a catchy hook and plenty of Philly spirit. Fun is the order of the day with the unbelievably catchy “Juicy Stuff”. This is no-nonsense playful talk for your potential lover and he says “let’s get down to the juicy stuff, stop all the surface fluff…you said you want my love let’s do it!”. Well said, and the whole atmosphere is carefree and happy and would easily be one of THOSE song that would be perfect for your first flush of love. There’s emotion for you! “Priceless Pearl” complete with Philly sitar is another positive catchy number which SHOULD have hit potential.

A song that really made me stop and think is the cautionary “You Can’t Get It Back”. I’ll be honest, it made me cry as it excellently describes how time passes so quickly and those whom we love are not here for long and are soon gone. Real love and thought and sadness can be found in here…so please take heed of this song and appreciate and love those who are near and dear to you and LET THEM KNOW. If you have loved and lost someone dear this song will touch your heart in the most special and deepest way.

As you know, Mr. Glass has worked closely with the Stylistics over the past 20 years, and “How Did We Get Here” would be a perfect vehicle for them as it reminds me of their 1996 song “I Once Had A Love”. Another INSTANT love for me was “Love It Unconditionally” with a really positive, bouncy vibe. I cannot stop playing this track! The downtempo and sultry “Same Tears (Different Pillow)” is another great song and is followed by the title song, a funky number complete with wah-wah guitar and positive message. Preston plays on George Clinton’s lyrics here and delivers a socially conscious message to finish up the album. This album is a thoughtful, well-considered set that seeks to do more than entertain. It elevates, brings forward love and joy and promotes respect and responsibility and talks of LOVE, a greater love for yourself, your family and your community. What an album to kick off 2013!!!

Barry Towler

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