Tuesday, March 7, 2017

SPINNERS-Lovin' Feelings (1985)


ORIGINAL POSTING DATE: March 7, 2017

Groovin' a little further back through the awesome 80's with some "Lovin' Feelings", the penultimate studio album released by the legendary vocal outfit famous for the timeless classics of "The Rubberband Man", "I'll Be Around" (which has been covered countless times by an endless sea of artists) and "Then Came You", the latter performed with fellow legend and soul queen, Dionne Warwick. "Lovin' Feelings" continued my joyride into reviving and re-discovering the sound of these soul groups as it was back in my favorite decade.....and what a joy it was! Putting an instant spark on my Tuesday morning was the instantly-catchy opener that is "Put Us Together". In fact, I notice a bit of that 'Rubberband Man' bounce in the dancey pop rhythm here; that, combined with the song's overly optimistic and positive outlook on being back on track with the one you still love certainly put me in a feel-good mood and got be excited about the 80's all over again! There are so many other jams here that further putting me in the sunny, feel-good spirit. There's the equally dancey, pop-tastic "You're Number One", a celebration and dedication of love and one that had been my #1—a #1 hit for me, that is.....and only up until I got deeper into the album. Then there's "More Today Than Yesterday", which is a sweet declaration of endlessly growing love as time passes on, highlighted by the lead man's high soaring voice near closing movement (and I'm sure that is shown off on earlier hits by this group). Plus, there's "The Witness", which is a lot of fun because the whole song set up like a criminal court case with the songwriter being the judge and the woman being the guilty party of breaking his heart; a song such as this could've only come out of the 80's.....and I like it! Add to that, Track #8's "Two Can Be One", whose blaring saxophone instrumental in the intro before song even kicks off sounds so familiar. I was envisioning the theme song to an 80's sitcom, and for some reason, "Cagney & Lacey" came to mind first (the real sitcom theme I'm thinking of will come to me eventually). Meanwhile, I found another great, perfectly-80's dancey jam to add to my favorites list, thanks to the infectious-catchy 'two can be one' delivered in the chorus, especially with the combined unified high and low-range vocals in the second and later movements. And then there's the magical spark that "Show Me Your Magic" puts into me—perfectly-80's synthesized pop that sweetens my senses and a terrific hook that will get the 80's music lover addicted! For the second album in a row, somebody's singing about love and heat, whether it was THE MANHATTANS being 'hot like an oven' (as was the case on their "Sweet Talk" album) or THE SPINNERS talking about magical love being hot, as is the case here on this ninth track. So glad to have the 5+ minute 'Extended Mix' here, as this is another I gotta keep on my playlist of favorites! I was surely thrilled on the dance-pop side of things, yet I was equally thrilled with the trio of slower grooves. "I Found An Angel" is more proof that just about every song I hear with the word 'angel' in its title is a beautiful, show-stopping spectacle. As soon as the introductory chords seeped into my senses, I could already feel the tenderness and magic and knew it would evolve into the soulfully lush, radio-perfect fluidity that it is. "She Does" is quite the touching song, celebrating how the woman shows her love and is the answer to every one of his bad emotions and every problem. Then there's best of the slow-groove trio "That's What Girls Are Made For". I definitely feel the vintage SPINNERS here with the late 60's, bluesy sway and doo-wop classiness about the production; at least, I surely would've thought this to be a recording from the late 60's had I not known this album was released in 1985. The song is performed simply marvelously, the backup guys echoing the lead man's lyrics of instructing how to treat the ladies (and why a man can't live without them) while marveling me with their stylistic, chopped-up may-a-ade for-or-or' in the chorus. So much to love about "Lovin' Feelings", and I know many listeners will feel the same way once their own 45-minute joyrides have been completed:

1. Put Us Together
2. I Found An Angel
3. You're Number One
4. She Does
5. That's What Girls Are Made For
6. More Today Than Yesterday
7. The Witness
8. Two Can Be One
9. Show Me Your Magic
10. She Does (Remix)
11. Show Me Your Magic (Extended Mix)

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