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Let Me Be the One

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Album Review

Even though Malaco put out some urban contemporary releases in the 1990s, most people continued to associate the Jackson, MS, outfit with soul and blues — and Carl Sims did nothing to change that. Let Me Be the One, which Rich Cason produced for Malaco's Waldoxy label in 1998, is 1970s-minded soul. Cason's production is high-tech — he uses synthesizers and keyboards instead of a full horn section and a drum machine instead of a real drummer — but the songs themselves are essentially 1970s-style soul. "Two Lumps of Sugar," "Don't Leave," and "Taxi" are exactly the sort of songs that Bobby Womack would have recorded in the 1970s, and, in fact, Womack is a major influence on Sims. Let Me Be the One leaves no doubt that Sims (who wrote or co-wrote four of the ten tracks) has spent a lot of time listening to that famous soul icon. Nonetheless, Sims is his own man; as strong as Womack's influence is on this CD, Sims never sounds like an outright clone. Let Me Be the One isn't the least bit innovative, but then, it isn't supposed to be. 1970s-style soul is what this artist does best, and those who appreciate baby boomer R&B will find this to be an enjoyable, if derivative, effort.

Let Me Be the One, Carl Sims
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