Blue-Eyed Soul at its Best
dev1 | Baltimore | 10/03/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Browse through the rhythm and blues section of your favorite CD cyberstore, and it's unlikely that you'll find a copy of The Slide Area. Too bad. Guitar champion Ry Cooder (along with his buddy John Haitt) has more soul in his little finger than contemporary artists the likes of Boyz II Men dream about.The Slide Area opens with outrageous and funky `UFO Has Landed In The Ghetto.' The song includes Tim Drummond's ground-shaking bass rhythm, and a list of every funk and dance cliche every written. With visual impressions of an alien doing the funky chicken, I believe Cooder takes a cynical swipe at 160 beats per minute dance tempo music. Cooder's voice is at its soulful best, and with the help of his backup singers (Bobby King, Wilie Green, Herman Johnson) love songs such as Curtis Mayfield's `Gypsy Woman' recall the sweet soul music of the Inspirations. The band rocks `Mama Don't You Treat Your Daughter Mean.' The songwriting team of Cooder/Keltner might very well be penning R&B numbers for the Rolling Stones. I can imagine Jagger swaggering on stage, and Richards/Wood dueling guitars to `I'm Drinking Again.' On a final note, I believe `That's The Way Love Turned Out For Me' is Cooder's finest moment. If soul music is supposed to reach deep into the heart, then this composition is a winner - lonesome and heartbreaking.Technical Note: The CD material makes no mention, but I suspect this is an analog recording. The recording and mastering is first-class - pushing the limits of analog to the edge. Note the sparkle of the percussion on `That's The Way.' I can't detect the slightest hint of distortion on the ground-shaking bass chords of `UFO.'"
AL.W PITTMAN | anderson, in United States | 10/29/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Of all the Ry Cooder cd's I have, this is the one I keep going back to, why?, well it really rocks!, it lifts my spirits when I'm in a blue funk, get's me on my feet! great riffs by Ry, no flash, just tasteful licks, he puts them in the right spots. Some of the cleverest lyric's you will hear, and the background vocals fit like a famous California glove, and the way Ry sings, well he could of had a second career, there are far worse voices out there that made it. get it and enjoy!"
Not Ry's best, but still good
Justice Guy | 11/09/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This certainly isn't one of his best albums, but it is still far above most other music as far as I'm concerned. I was on the fence for a while on whether or not to get this after buying all of Ry's other albums, but I'm glad I did get it. Even if it isn't as great as Chicken Skin Music or Paradise and Lunch, it still has some nice songs on it. He did a great rendition of Blue Suede Shoes, and Gypsy Woman and That's the Way Love Turned Out For Me are also memorable.
If you have just been introduced to Ry Cooder and you are considering buying this, I would suggest starting with one of his better albums like those I mentioned above. They better represent his virtuosity as a musician, and are more faithful to his roots style of music. I consider this more of an experimental album where Ry was trying more to explore other genres that he hadn't paid as much attention to in his previous works."