Labelle – Phoenix (Epic EPC 69167) (1975)

Yes! A couple of Meters among the riddim section, Allan Toussaint behind the producer’s desk and Labelle in front of the mics–what could go wrong?

Well, mainly an overly dramatic, quasi-mystical, mini-suite approach to performance, songwriting and arrangement that has more in common with notionally “hip” 70s musicals like Godspell than the wonderful, minimal funk and soul associated with the Meters, Toussaint’s previous work or, indeed, “Lady Marmalade”. Admirable for its ambition, anathema for its lack of perspective–most of the credit/blame belongs to Nona Hendrix who wrote 80% of the songs here.

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Published in: on October 17, 2011 at 9:05 am  Leave a Comment  

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