Thursday, 1 May 2014

Review: Grover Washington Jnr - Inside Moves

After his glorious successes with his turn-of-the-eighties album ‘Winelight’ – namely it’s enormous sales, the mega-hit with Bill Withers ‘Just The Two Of Us’ and his two Grammy awards – Grover Washington Jr then began a very long period of artistically barren yet commercially appealing recordings seemingly a million miles away from his smooth melodic urban funk work that had originally made his name.

‘Inside Moves’ from 1984 is a typical example of this, being surprisingly and overwhelmingly bad on almost all accounts. The tunes are for the vast majority dire and completely unmemorable, with an unfortunate focus on increasing the number of vocal songs, with in this case Jon Lucien performing without any notable distinction on five of the seven tracks here. The band too is equally flat, and devoid of any personality or interest, while the large ensemble of backing singers is just unpleasant, saccharine and bordering on the horrific.

It isn’t totally devoid of charm, with Washington still shooting the whole thing through with his usual heart and soul in his silky pitch-perfect playing. It’s just a shame that it’s wasted on such lacklustre material, in what is essentially his career worst album (although there are a good number of close contenders).


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