Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Blues, Pop, R&B, Rock, Classic Rock
Similarly Requested CDs
Not too bad, but it showed Robert was a man out of time
29-year old wallflower | West Lafayette, IN | 05/05/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Robert Palmer finally found the commercial success he had long deserved in the mid-1980s thanks to songs like "Addicted To Love", "I Didn't Mean To Turn You On" & "Simply Irresistable", in no small part to their enigmatic, stylish videos. As the 1990s began however, Palmer's commercial heyday was trickling out, and albums like 1990's DON'T EXPLAIN and 1992's RIDIN' HIGH sold lesser and lesser copies, even if they both played upon Palmer's proven track record with cover songs. Maybe deciding that format had been played out long enough, Robert decided to get back to writing his own songs with 1994's HONEY.Right from the cover shot, it was clear Robert was still playing upon his ladies' man image, which was certainly not kosher in a time when alternative & grunge's scruffier approach was kicking everyone in the behind. Perhaps that's what caused HONEY to die upon release, but it could also be attributed to the fact that Robert's material wasn't among his most accomplished, as well as to the schizophrenic nature of the album altogether.At the beginning, it sounds as if Robert was returning to his roots in Caribbean music with "Honey A" & "Honey B" (another thing that probably killed the album: too much self-assurance). The gesture is commendable, but by this point in his career, Robert was performing this kind of music less & less, so he seemed a little half-hearted in that attempt to get back to where he started. "Close To The Edge" actually sounds better than its rock-based cousin that follows, but not by a whole lot. The short "Honeymoon" is a much more solid excursion to the islands with a rippling, acoustic guitar-based rhythm that I'm surprised hasn't been used in an ad for a cruise line.Other songs had Robert adhering close to the slick hard-rock that marked his RIPTIDE (1985), HEAVY NOVA (1988) & POWER STATION (1984) albums, a style that also had no place in the musical climate of 1994. "You Blow Me Away", "Closer To The Edge", "Wham Bam Boogie" & "Big Trouble" contain walls of guitars (courtesy of Extreme's Nuno Bettencourt) & chamber-like synthesizers, everything that Nirvana & their ilk were rebelling against. Even here, Robert's heart doesn't sound fully into things, as if he decided to simply record an album when he didn't have enough ideas yet. The rock-revved cover of Devo's "Girl U Want" was probably recorded with tongue firmly in cheek for its hair metal-lite instrumentation is easier to digest when that is taken into account. I'm not sure Motley Crue or Aerosmith would have the self-respect to attempt a cover like this.There are still some highlights to be found on HONEY though, and they're the ones that have Robert mostly acting his age (he was now in his mid-40s). The closing instrumental "Dreams Come True" is the sound that HONEY should have contained more of. Had lyrics been written for it, the song could have done well on the Adult Contemporary charts, which still had a good home for maturing artists like Robert. "You're Mine" has him exploring an acid jazz/hip-hop hybrid that actually fits him quite well, and I'd gladly take an album featuring more of this kind of material. Also, the guitars aren't as deafening as they are on much of the rest of HONEY. The slinky "Nobody But You" turns up the volume again, but Robert sounds more in command on this song rather than letting the Cinemascope production swallow him whole (there's also a slight Caribbean tinge to this song in the second half)."Know By Now" was the flagship single in America, and predictably failed to chart, which is a shame because it's a strong midtempo number that deserved to go higher. Maybe the spectre of Phil Collins was all too easy to detect on this song. "Love Takes Time" is another AC hit that wasn't, a jazzy ballad that Robert explored a little bit on RIDIN' HIGH, only this is obviously more modern.HONEY naturally didn't set the charts on fire when it was released (it's out of print currently), and maybe Robert Palmer saw that his day in the sun was through, for this would be his last album for 5 years. 1999's RHYTHM & BLUES again saw a lot of promise, but mostly concentrated on re-recorded versions of older songs, making the listener long for something new. However, that's the last we've heard of Robert since, but I'm sure he's in the studio recording something as we speak, so there still might be a chance for him to recapture the magic of his glory days. In the meantime, HONEY is certainly not recommended for the novice Palmer fan. But once you've gotten into him a little bit, it might be good to pick up later to see that a glimmer of the old magic was still there; it just depended on what song you were listening to."
A Honey Of An Album
Todd E. Garland | Webster Springs, WV United States | 10/30/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I know all of Palmer's recordings. I have them all, even the two that suck--"Rhythm and Blues" and "Live at the Apollo." I won't include "Secrets" with the sucky albums, although it almost makes the cut. The rest of his albums are from good, to very good, to great. This album is arguably one of his best.
I realize that not everyone can agree with this statement. In some people's minds it's because this is not a coherent "album" of songs. But I can't agree. I think it's a strong set that holds together really well. True, it's almost as eclectic as his career. But there's not one song on the disc that is bad, or any where close. Most of the songs are very good. Some just plain kill me.
This disc got my wife singing "Girl U Want". How cool is that? She grew up on the Beatles and knew nothing of Devo, yet she has learned to love Robert Palmer from hearing so damn much of him while riding in my car. Believe me, to see her singing along--"Look at you with your mouth watering. Look at you with your mind spinning. Why don't you just admit it's all over? She's just the girl u want!"--is a hoot. And kinda sexy.
The album opens with Honey A & Honey B, very stong pieces both. And they're very fun to sing, drum, and dance along with. Palmer wrote Honey A when he was still in his midteens, shortly before leaving Malta where he had lived most of his life until then. It was in Malta that he gained his love for and learned much about the African rhythms that he incorporates into much of his music. Honey B also includes many of these rhythms in a fun song that weaves 4 separate parts into a terrificly buoyant, polyrhythmic juju romp. Love it. Absolutely love it.
Incidentally, the girl kissing Robert's cheek on the cover is not just some model babe. That's the love of his life, his honey. No wonder he looks pretty happy.
We hear on this album the other interests of Palmer's career: Bossa Nova, ballads, heavy metal, and the other things that defy categorization (like Wham Bam Boogie, an hilarious soundscape).
Honeymoon, a gentle bossa nova love song is simply gorgeous, addictively so. The lyrics paint a pastel-colored picture of lovers in a Carribbean getaway. Lovely.
You Blow Me Away in the hands of anyone else would just sound like an over the top '80s rock ballad. I can't listen to this without singing along with my wife filling my thoughts and my heart. So, there it is. This isn't the first time he was succesful in transcending a genre. Though this is his last successful rock-love-ballad that I can think of, and one of my fave raves.
This is not an album for people who like their records all one flavor. But you're not that type of person. Are you?"
One of his best
Juz Man | Hobart, Australia | 07/17/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Palmer always produced solid music and strong, yet varied albums. Honey is no exception. Released during a popularity downslide after his 80's commercial success, Honey is a personal album of mixed styles, starting with the sweet, moving to pop and eventually elevating to perhaps Palmer's heaviest work near the end. I was 16 when I got this album (and when it was released) so was more interested in his heavier work. He's on fire with the rock tracks here. The softer tracks grew on me later.
1. Honey A is a gentle opener. Nice African beats and vocals which lead straight into
2. Honey B which is a classic RP style. Kind of like of Every Kind Of People but more up tempo.
3. You're Mine is slower and grittier with horns blaring and heavy guitar in the style of Simply Irresistible. A good track but let down a little by the off beat chorus.
4. Know By Now is one of RP's best. It's straight up commercial pop/rock. I love this song.
5. Nobody But You is a good track without being great. Another change of style but with a similar tempo to Know By Now. Nice vocals and changes with a steel drum thrown in at the end.
6. Love Takes Time is a soulful finger clicking ballad. Nice song.
7. Honeymoon is a nice short soft interlude. The song would fit on RP's Don't explain (the second half) or Ridin' High. Perhaps would have been better suited to one of the these albums.
8. You Blow Me Away is one of RP's best. Light and heavy all in one it grabs you on first listen. Sweeping, catchy melody - should have been a hit.
9. Close To The Edge is a nice vocal track. Good beats that lead into the even better
10. Closer To The Edge which is the rock version of the previous track. This song is awesome and shows RP is as competent at rock as he is reggae, jazz or blues. One of his best.
11. Girl U Want is a Devo cover and the first single from the album. Again one of RP's best ever; it's fast, hard and catchy.
12. Wham Bam Boogie carries the rock theme with a slight twist - a boogie twist.
13. Big Trouble is a hard edged romp. One of RP's heaviest ever and hard to like.
14. Dreams Come True is soft musical end to one of RP's most diverse and best albums.
It probably has too much of a mix of styles to appeal to those not true RP fans, but I highly recommend you give it a try - if you can find it. It's RP at his softest and heaviest all in the space of 50 minutes.