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Monday, May 27, 2013

Bobby Bland: I Feel Good, I Feel Fine


1) I Feel Good, I Feel Fine; 2) I Can't Take No Mo'; 3) Little Mama; 4) Tit For Tat; 5) Someone To Belong To; 6) Soon As The Weather Breaks; 7) In His Eyes; 8) Red Sails In The Sunset.

All right, this one does not even deserve three paragraphs. Apparently, two ladies approached Bobby on the corner, each planting a kiss on one of his aging cheeks, while a third one almost literally "picked his brain",  convincing him to go disco. And even if the anti-disco backlash had already started by that time, how can you just say no, with two lovely ladies planting kisses on your cheeks? The only thing to do is to hop it up and go — with the six-minute title track announcing that trouble is finally over, and now you are lis­tening to a Bobby Bland album for the hip dance grooves, none of that depressing «deep soul» stuff that might lead you to dark thoughts of... never mind. In fact, it would even be best for him not to sing at all — and he doesn't (on the title track, that is).

The most hideous realisation of all, though, is that the silly hop-along title track, with the ladies chanting "I feel good, I feel fine, it's alright" as if they were advertising Prozac, is the best thing on the album — once Bobby cuts in on the second track, the tempos start slowing down (without losing the disco skeleton), and things start getting less fun and more serious without any adequate compositional, instrumental, or vocal merit to justify the change in style. Strings and brass almost completely drown out guitars and even keyboards; gospel (ʽIn His Eyesʼ), blues (ʽI Can't Take No Mo'), balladry, and pop are sifted through the same sieve; the lyrics accordingly suck (I swear I remember something along the lines of "you are my magnet, I am your dragnet"), as do some of the song titles (ʽTit For Tatʼ? — yep, very 1979-ish indeed); and although Bobby dutifully attacks all these monsters like a pro, he can do nothing worthwhile, saddled with this kind of material. Thumbs down for the sleeve alone, although we'd only seen the beginning of the slide.

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