Leroy Hutson

Unforgettable

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After recording a string of soul albums that earned him little commercial success, Leroy Hutson decided to take the most commercial route possible on 1979's Unforgettable by making a disco album. Given that Hutson was a gifted arranger/producer and tended towards the sweet side of soul anyways, it could have been a harmonious marriage. Sadly, it doesn't work because Hutson suppresses all his personality as a performer and producer to produce some disco tracks that represent the genre at its most bland and faceless. The worst offender is the title track, a disco-era update of the Nat King Cole classic: instead of reworking the song in an ambitious fashion, it merely grafts a repetitive disco beat onto the melody and pads it out to dancefloor length with some aimless jamming from the band and an array of embarrassing sci-fi synthesizer noises. "(You Put The) Funk in My Life" is similarly uninspired, combining a funky but faceless band vamp with a set of clich├ęd "let's boogie" lyrics to create a typical example of disco album filler. However, a few of other tracks keep Unforgettable from being a complete loss: "Right or Wrong" is sultry ballad that benefits from an arrangement that blends strong vocal harmonies with some dramatic orchestrations, and "More Where That Came From" is a jazzy funk workout that easily outdoes the album's more overt attempts at disco. However, these highlights can't keep Unforgettable from feeling like an unsuccessful (and uncomfortable) artistic compromise. As a result, it can only be recommended the most devoted Leroy Hutson fans.

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