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That old pro!!
Nse Ette | Lagos, Nigeria | 06/10/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Music must have magical powers. Listening to this, one of my favourite albums ever by my favourite male vocalist of the eighties, teleported me back to my (almost) carefree childhood. An incredibly moving experience (do you feel me Kayode? :-)). I just reviewed Ray's most recent CD, 2006's I'm Free which I got last week, along with this Japanese import.
Comprising just 8 tracks, there's no slack as every song stands out. Title track "A woman needs love" is a midtempo groove with a subtle Jazz feel and soothing harmonies, much like his other hits "Two places at the same time", or the top 10 hit he penned for New Edition "Mr telephone man".
Next up is the extremely groovy "It's your night" with an incredibly funky bassline and lyrics urging one to loosen up because "Even Cinderella gon' have to funk". This was one of the most played songs everywhere in Nigeria.
"That old song" is a sweeping ballad about how a particular song keeps reminding him of an old flame, something most of us can relate to. The harmonies are superb. Closing what was then side A is the upbeat "All in the way you get down" which always reminded me of Michael Jackson's "Off the wall".
"You can't fight what you feel" is another groovy dance number which to me sounded like he was influenced a wee bit by Chic's "Good times". Another fantastic funky dance number with lyrics threatening "You can run, but you can't get away".
Next up, the stunning ballad "Old pro", one of my favourite ballads by him. Again, with a subtle smooth jazz feel (a direction he would pursue a bit more on his most recent afore mentioned album).
Another scorching funk number that ruled the airwaves is the instrumental "Still in the groove" (with some wicked keyboard), showing off his fantastic session skills. (He would go on to play guitar on "Woman" by Donna Summer on her "She works hard for the money" album, and pen 2 songs, "Love or loneliness" and the Rock-tinged "Up front" for Diana Ross, all in 1983). Closing is the slow shuffling ballad "So into you", completing this perfect album.
As for issues with sound quality/remastering mentioned by another reviewer, this is no worse than the quality on most CDs from the late eighties/early nineties. This is simply a superb album, and I'm glad I can listen to it again."