required listening

CD Review


Robinsongs (UK) ROBIN 34 CD (cd)

Give Me Love With The Music (+ 7” version); Double Funkin’ (+ 7” version); My Love Is Hot (Caliente) (+ 7” versions 1 & 2); Man Power (Can You Do It) (+ extnd version & rough mix); Shade Of Blue; Freaky Strangeness; What’s Love; Two Sides (stereo & mono versions)

Lalomie Washburn came to a solo career after stints with the groups High Voltage and the H.P. Lovecraft spin-off, Love Craft, as well as having been a successful songwriter for the likes of Rufus, Maxayn and the gone-solo Chaka Khan.  Her ‘My Music Is Hot’ album, initially released on Parachute in 1977 and now given a new (cd) lease of life by Robinsongs, perhaps for me allows a little bending of the rules of the term ‘required listening’, inasmuch as ‘better not trust old memories but give it a listen before buying blind’.  To explain, I remember really enthusing about this album on debut release and giving it a multitude of plays but, like so much else, it then got usurped only to stay gathering dust on my record shelves where that bit of vinyl remains to this day.  Despite a lack of aural reference for maybe thirty-five years plus, I felt sure I would react similarly on returning to the set by way of the cd here but I - doubtless more than the album itself - seem to have become a little jaded with time and thus the content rather failed to live up to its original impact.  That said, there’s no disputing the lady’s vocal prowess, especially the sassiness she injects into her delivery and the whole thing definitely gets underway well with the spirited mid-pacer, ‘Give Me Love With The Music’, with its vocal support from the Waters and a fitting arrangement by Gene Page, in charge throughout.  The brass section adds a special touch to the chunky, Latinesque ‘My Love Is Hot (Caliente)’, again enhanced by the Waters and ‘Shades Of Blue‘ sparkles with some little touches added by twiddly bits on flute.  Ironically though, it’s the non-album later Parachute 45, ‘Two Sides‘, here as a bonus track - and a song originally recorded by the Carpenters - that actually now comes across (to me, at least) as the standout item.  It’s a nicely melodic midtempo number, showing a gentler, more wistful vocal approach from Lalomie.  After Parachute, a somewhat sporadic recording career in her own right and as a backing singer on both sides of the pond followed but she passed away in Los Angeles in September 2004.

review posted 30/7/18