Tower of Power

In the Slot

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In the Slot came off a four-year string of classic singles and albums. As Bump City era lead singer Rick Stevens exited, the phenomenal Lenny Williams replaced him. With Williams, Tower of Power became a hit-making machine as albums like Back to Oakland and Urban Renewal became R&B standards. In the Slot marks the first album of vocalist Hubert Tubbs. he possessed a throaty more muscular voice a few shades lower than his predecessor. While it was serviceable, Tubbs' voice didn't have the same grace and agility as Williams'. On the rollicking "Just Enough and Too Much" the difference is slight and the track is one of the band's most potent tracks. The ballads were where the contrast is most striking. "As Surely As I Stand Here" and the "The Soul of a Child" display not only a drop off in lyrical quality, but also the clearest indication that the band did indeed miss Williams' skill at making even bromides ring. Oddly enough, the great and too brief B-side "Stroke '75" wasn't included here. After many failed attempts, band and singer do end up on the same page. On "Drop It in the Slot" and "On the Serious Side" the groups' trademark rhythm section and the horns come on stronger and match Tubbs' more volatile style. This effort in effect put an end to the string of "classic" albums from the group. In The Slot, despite its enviable firepower, finds the band missing Lenny Williams' skill at putting all of the pieces together.

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