Genre: Funk / Soul
Rate: 320 kbps CBR / 44100
Size: 81,48 MB
A great return to form. Recorded back down South, 'A Heart Full of Song' without a doubt is Clarence's finest LP for ABC. Freed from the 'contemporary' production values and trendiness that at times marred 'Real' and 'Loneliness and Temptation', his swansong release for the label is back-to-the-roots Southern Soul, with a dab of hard funk, a hint of Philly, and a touch of the Blues.
Carter mentions going to a disco on the funky opener "All Messed Up", but this ain't no glitterball boogie anthem. Smothered in a thick, juicy, funky groove, it features Clarence at his storytelling finest. The follow-up, the lovely ballad "Heart Full of Songs", combines gospel testifyin' with a Muscle Shoals backdrop. A warm, soothing, well-arranged nugget reminiscent of such earlier, equally epically sensitive, sensual tunes as "Makin' Love (At the Dark End of the Street)", "I Love You" and "Just One More Day".
Most catchy of all is the swinging, fast-paced beater "Danger Point", which incorporates the Chicago and Philly vibe with typically southern backing vocals. This should have been a single: Carter's wailing at his best, there's Chalmers and Rhodes, and the orchestration is stellar without being overpowering.
The track most evidently signaling Carter's desire to return to the more downhome approach that was so lacking on 'Real' is the brooding, dark, blues-based grinder "Jenning's Alley". A bio of sorts, this is soul-blues at the crossroads. That haunting wah wah guitar riff keeps droning on as Carter takes a trip down memory lane, singing of all the hardship endured in a pre-integration, agricultural southland. Side A closes on a somewhat lighter (and less interesting) note with the mid-tempo "Shoulder to Cry On".
More intense is the absolutely gorgeous ballad "That's What Your Love Means to Me". The tempo change sounds off at a first listen, but it soon makes sense. A beautiful bit of country soul, with a goosebump inducing string chart, weeping steel guitars and a fierce vocal performance.
The only selection here that was probably especially aimed at the dance market, "Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained", treads the realm of disco, but features some snappy bass lines. But its back to gutbucket blues-induced howlin' and hollerin' on the slow-burner "Come Back Baby", a powerful gospel-fide ballad capturing Carter at his wailing finest. Great piano chords, more of that Chalmers and Rhodes magic and late-night, jazzy horns.
"I Thought It Was Over" picks up the pace considerably, riding an incessant 4/4 beat, as Carter's vocal is floating on a delightfully funky melody with plenty of old-school sassy horns. This superb album then ends with the hunk-of-funk blow-out "Don't Bother Me", a ferocious strut with some Billy Preston-esque synth hooks.
With 'A Heart Full of Song', Carter recorded his finest album since 1973's 'Sixty Minutes'. (soulmakossa)
01 - All Messed Up 02:50
02 - Heart Full Of Songs 03:29
03 - Danger Point 02:53
04 - Jenning's Alley 06:12
05 - Shoulder To Cry On 03:30
06 - That's What Your Love Means To Me 02:52
07 - Nothing Ventured Nothing Gained 02:43
08 - Come Back Baby 05:30
09 - I Thought It Was Over 02:38
10 - Don't Bother Me 03:00
Gamble for more Clarence Carter