Booker Newberry III

Love Town

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    6
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A fine set of early-'80s soul, ex-Sweet Thunder vocalist Booker Newberry III's solo debut contains many of the standard synthesized dance effects one would expect, but also delivers plentiful doses of strong melody and gritty vocals. The summery title track, despite somewhat odd lyrics, is a real pleaser with Bobby Eli's contagious production and Newberry's accessible delivery, while the Nick Martinelli-headed "I Get Romantic" is on par with efforts by the likes of Shalamar and Loose Ends. The singer's husky tenor often brings to mind Teddy Pendergrass, but with a bit of a smoother edge. It's unfortunate that he didn't have the backing that contemporary Luther Vandross did, as he has just as much of a unique charisma that would have served R&B radio well. With only a single release stateside, the album remained a Europe-only release until Hot Productions' 1994 CD issue.

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