Billy Preston

Everybody Likes Some Kind of Music

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On Everybody Likes Some Kind of Music, Billy Preston attempted to put together a sound as wide-ranging as the album title. The jazzy "How Long Has This Train Been Gone?" is clearly patterned after classic show tunes, while "My Soul Is a Witness" is a straight-ahead gospel song, complete with a choir. Add to that the country of "Sunday Morning," the '70s soul of "I'm So Tired," and the funky instrumental "Space Race," one of Preston's most enduring classics, and the result is a wildly diverse album. That doesn't necessarily mean, however, that it's a completely successful one. Because most of the experiments are so short (barely clocking in at two or three minutes), they don't really register as complete songs, the way the longer soul and funk tracks do. That's not to say that Preston is a dilettante, since each of the genre tracks are well-performed and carefully produced. It's just that Preston should have chosen one or two genres to experiment with and composed fully developed songs, since he clearly has the talent to do so. The funk and soul tunes are excellent, much more thought-out and constructed, and are what make the album worth listening to. Everybody Likes Some Kind of Music is well-performed and solidly produced, but with some more focused songwriting, could have been an impressive set. As it stands, it's an interesting, but flawed collection.

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