Wednesday, 4 November 2009

In The Studio

The loosely alphabeticised journey was incredibly loose today as I hit an S, in Special AKA’s In The Studio. The 1984 album put together by founding member of The Specials, Jerry Dammers.
Noted primarily for the single (Free) Nelson Mandela, but also containing Racist Friend and What I Like Most About You Is Your Girlfriend.
The personnel on this album, as well as Dammers, includes Specials drummer John Bradbury and the Specials horn section in Rico Rodriguez and Dick Cuthell. A steller line up only aided by Rhoda Dakar, Caron Wheeler and Claudia Fontaine. On paper, a great album.
But books are on paper, albums were on vinyl, CD and cassette, and the facts are that remove Nelson Mandela, this is an incredibly weak, pop jazz funk album that is only bolstered by the inclusion of (Free) Nelson Mandela.
The songwriting, lyrically is not pleasant, tedious rhymes, lazy clichés, appalling really. Also in Stan Cambell, whether unintentionally or at the request of Dammers, attempts to pull off Terry Halls styling on a number of songs and that makes for difficult listening.
On the whole it reminded me of mid eighties jazz funk artists like Matt Bianco, which is a dreadful comparison and one not to be took lightly.
I know why I bought this album, pesky Amazon recommendation and a low price tag, not a good reason at all to buy an album.
2 out of 10

(Free) Nelson Mandela by The Special AKA

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