Wednesday, February 6, 2013

"Natural High" by The Commodores (1978)

View the Premise & Ground Rules for Revisiting Vinyl

"The memories are all in my mind."

My Favorite Tracks:
X-Rated Movie and Such a Woman

Disco Wedding Mega-Anthem:
Three Times a Lady

Obvious Filler & Swings-and-Misses:
Flying High and Visions

My Overall Rating of the Tracks Separately:
Average (2/4 stars)

The Commodores are a walking contradiction - or maybe they were just trying to corner all the R&B markets of the late seventies.  The same band that wrote Brick House also wrote Easy... and on the same LP no less.  While neither of those tracks are on "Natural High," the dichotomy is gratingly apparent here.

The Rosetta Stone to this mystery is, unsurprisingly, Lionel Richie.  He writes music to make sweet love by.  The rest of the guys in The Commodores write songs for gettin' your swerve on.  Granted they're both genres dedicated to making nookie.  However, they are lightyears apart.  It's kind of like comparing Tony Bennett to Motley Crue.

Motley Crue wins that cage match in my book.  Similarly, I gravitate to The Commodores' funk much more than their ballads.  Unfortunately for me, Lionel writes or cowrites over half of the songs on "Natural High," bringing the whole thing down to slow groove level about one and a half gold-plated-medallions-swimming-in-a-sea-of-chest-hair away from creepy.  When they do slip in a funk tune, it's downright jolting.

One last completely tangential note: the bridge and chorus on Flying High sound eerily like they belong in a song by Yes.

So, is it an album?  No.  It's six different guys coming up with their own ideas and then meeting in the studio to try and fit it all together.

Up next, Steve Miller works his magic with "Abracadabra."  I wanna reach out and grab ya...

No comments:

Post a Comment