Graham Parker

Human Soul

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On Human Soul, Graham Parker begins to retreat further into his domestic life, writing an album that includes a side of romantic ruminations and a side of social commentary. With a band that comprises guitarist Brinsley Schwarz, bassist Andrew Bodnar, and Attractions Steve Nieve (keyboards) and Pete Thomas (drums), Parker's music is subtlely diverse, adding elements of worldbeat, reggae, pop, and folk to his R&B-fueled rock & roll; however, most of the impact of the music is lost by the slick, radio-ready production. When Parker stays at home on the first half of Human Soul, he makes his most impressive music, from the sultry come-ons of "Call Me Your Doctor" to the reassuring "My Love's Strong." He tends to lose his focus on the latter half of the record, when he writes about subjects that don't directly affect his homelife. Taken in conjunction with the self-conscious musical eclectism, the lyrical stretches make Human Soul an intriguing, but flawed, record.

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