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Wake Up

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Album Review

Some Shalamar fans gave up on the group when Jody Watley and Jeffrey Daniels left, but in fact, the Howard Hewitt/Micki Free/Delisa Davis lineup did some appealing things in the mid-'80s (such as "Dancing in the Sheet" and "My Girl Loves Me"). It wasn't until Hewitt was replaced by Sidney Justin in 1987 that Shalamar really became a lost cause. By the time Wake Up was recorded in 1990, the trio was a disaster both creatively and commercially. New jack swing was quite the rage in 1990, and Solar obviously reasoned that Shalamar should cater to that market. But sadly, the results are robotic and completely forgettable on such knee-jerk, automatic-pilot cuts as "Groove Talk," "Caution: This Love Is Hot" and the title song. The only worthwhile cut here is an unlikely remake of the Beatles' "Come Together," which works pretty well in a new jack setting. But on the whole, this faceless and embarrassing CD has very little in common with the unforgettable Shalamar of the late 1970s and early to mid-1980s. Of all the albums using Shalamar's name, Wake Up is the absolute worst.


Formed: 1976 in Chicago, IL

Genre: R&B/Soul

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s

Shalamar was the creation of Dick Griffey, the booking agent for the television R&B program Soul Train, and British R&B producer Simon Soussan. The group's first single, the 1977 Motown medley "Uptown Festival," featured a bevy of faceless studio musicians; once it became a hit, Griffey decided to form a performing group under the name Shalamar. Through Soul Train, Griffey found Jody Watley, Jeffrey Daniels, and Gerald Brown, the three vocalists that became Shalamar; Brown was quickly replaced by...
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Wake Up, Shalamar
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