Monday, February 12, 2007

90% Of Me Is You

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Here's a tune that recently got under my skin in a very big way...Gwen McRae's "90% Of Me Is You" on Cat. Perhaps it is old hat to many readers, but I had only recently heard a partial clip in an e-bay auction, and with that 1 minute I heard, I knew I had to find myself a copy.

So many things converge on this record to make it special: the strings that move in the background, the underpinning of the solid drumbeat and the bass (which is nice and loud), the bit of wah-wah that flutters underneath. Female vocals back up the tune, butt only sing one line, "What can I do?", perhaps to reflect the pointlessness of trying to resist the overpowering emotion. But what really gets me is Gwen's delivery, just spot on, and those lyrics, especially:

gonna be the kind of woman that no man can move
i wanna have the kind of mind that no man can fool
i wanna look you in the eyes without getting weak in the eyes
i wanna be able to do without you despite all my needs

Just brilliant, brilliant stuff. So much good soul out of the state of Florida.....

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Listen To Your Mama

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Well, it's been much longer than I anticpated - over 2 months - since I've featured a new 45 on the blog, and I apologize. My wife had our first child on Thanksgiving day, a beautiful little girl named Ella Victoria. She recently started to go to bed before midnight, so life seems to have settled down a bit. Hopefully enough that I can share some records on a more consistent basis.

My record purchasing habits have slowed down and seemingly mellowed a bit. I've been buying less funk and more mid-tempo soulful stuff. And I'm really digging modern soul as of late, too. Expect to see some of this stuff in upcoming features.

I thought I would focus on a 45 with a parenting bent, Les Tres Femmes' "Listen To Your Mama", that has a Philadelphia connection thanks to the label. And it looks lovely on the white demo (I've never been a promo 45 collector, but the white demo has suddenly started to look especially attractive). Opening with a strong drumbeat, the girls proceed to tell their cautionary tale about not listening to the sage advice of their mother. 'Listen To Your Mama' is built on a stripped-down groove - drums, bass, and guitar - with an organ bubbling underneath, sometimes overflowing. Horns come in for the chorus, completing the 1-2 punch. I dig how loose the tune is. Sing on girls, sing on.