Ronnie Laws

Natural Laws

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"Sheriff" Ronnie Laws brings out the tried and true posse on his Western themed Natural Laws, and the results are completely predictable and just plain ordinary in many respects. Finding fault with Laws is akin to harping on Sanborn, another master of his art who simply misses once in a while. The irony is, Laws' performance is the only thing to recommend on this overwrought, overproduced affair. On all cuts, he is the consummate melodic inventor, solid improvisor and card carrying funkateer. The fault falls in the trappings, mostly unmemorable lead or background vocal tracks that seem to pander to radio without giving the listener much to latch onto. It's almost as if a solid if typical R&B instrumental album was in the can and some corporate demon polluted the tracks with cheesy attempts at overcommercialism. The smooth title tune and Curtis Mayfield's "Think" hint at the cool grandeur that might have been. Sadly, this gunfight sails into the sunset long before these hints at redemption surface.

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