The Main Ingredient

Shame on the World

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Shame on the World heralded the end of the Main Ingredient's commercial heyday -- the title cut proved their final chart hit of note as the group struggled to reconcile the confectionary harmony-soul approach of its previous records with the slicker, tighter sound dominating black radio in the mid-'70s. Wisely, the album sidesteps funk and disco formulas in favor of a sophisticated, mature sound that underscores the authority of their harmonies. Cuba Gooding and Luther Simmons assume producing and arranging duties (with some assistance from Rene Hall), and the end result is polished but never sterile. But the material is woefully inadequate, and even the most exquisite harmonies can't bring to life clunkers like "Old Greyhound" and "Lillian." [Shame on the World was reissued on CD in 2008 on an Expansion label two-fer alongside 1981's I Only Have Eyes for You.]

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