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The Poet II

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Album Review

Though Bobby Womack's in great voice, The Poet II doesn't quite hit the same heights as The Poet, which successfully executed ideas Womack had been tinkering with since 1979's Roads of Life. This seeks the success The Poet got by surprise. Womack's skill is his pragmatic take on relationships, but on The Poet II his aim is a little off. "Love Has Finally Come at Last" is the first of three duets with Patti LaBelle. The duet idea works better on "It Takes a Lot of Strength to Say Goodbye"; it sounds better suited for two singers, and the dramatic arrangement and chemistry between Womack and LaBelle are strong but not that exciting. The Poet II also features some over-produced though skillful dance tracks. "Tell Me Why" is effective and has Womack asking why his relationship is failing and uses his children as pawns when he sings, "You don't have to do it for me/But do it for the sake of the kids." By the end of the album, Womack's lack of winning premises starts to catch up with him. "I Wish I Had Someone to Come Home To" has him sounding a little phony with lyrics like "Ain't no way this lonely man can seem to win." Fans of Womack know he'd think up something to do. The effort's last track, "American Dream," features snippets of Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech. With its so-so lyrics and plodding arrangement, it just falls apart within the first two minutes. The Poet II is no doubt a good Bobby Womack album, but it is clear that he can do much better.


Born: 04 March 1944 in Cleveland, OH

Genre: R&B/Soul

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

A veteran who paid his dues for over a decade before getting his shot at solo stardom, Bobby Womack persevered through tragedy and addiction to emerge as one of soul music's great survivors. Able to shine in the spotlight as a singer or behind the scenes as an instrumentalist and songwriter, Womack never got his due from pop audiences, but during the late '60s and much of the '70s, he was a consistent hitmaker on the R&B charts, with a high standard of quality control. His records were quintessential...
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