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Monster On A Leash

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Album Review

In contrast to the many soul veterans who who have turned to urban contemporary sounds in the hope of staying on the staying on the charts, Tower of Power has stuck with the type of horn-driven, live-sounding funk and soul that put the Bay Area band on the map. Tower was long past its prime by the time Monster on a Leash was released in 1991, and had experienced its share of personnel changes. Lead singer Tom Bowes, although a passionate and competent belter, is hardly on a par with Lenny Williams. Even so, this is a respectable and decent effort from a band that remained artistically viable by staying true to itself. Unapologetically '70s-sounding, the album falls short of the unmitigated excellence of Back to Oakland and Urban Renewal, but isn't significantly different in its approach, content or attitude. While novices would do better to start with either those gems, this is an album that diehard Tower enthusiasts shouldn't pass up.

Biography

Formed: 1967 in Oakland, CA

Genre: R&B/Soul

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

The renowned horn-driven funk outfit Tower of Power have been issuing albums and touring the world steadily since the early '70s, in addition to backing up countless other musicians. The group's leader since the beginning has always been tenor saxophonist Emilio Castillo, who was born in Detroit but opted to pursue his musical dreams in Oakland, California. It was in Oakland that Castillo put together a group called the Motowns, which, as their name suggested, specialized in '60s-era soul. In 1967,...
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Monster On A Leash, Tower of Power
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