All Day Music

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As controlled as their self-titled debut was loose, War's sophomore effort, All Day Music, appearing a little over six months later in November 1971, was packed with subtly understated grooves. A hit with the fans, the LP peaked in the Top Ten, ultimately spending a massive 39 weeks on the charts. Side one is a gorgeous slab of mellow grooves and jazzed funk highlighted by both the title track and "Get Down," while "That's What Love Can Do" is an outstanding, textured, sleepy love affair revolving around the band's superior vocal harmonies and a tenor sax solo. The light, spare rhythm is like a warm treacle binding. With just three songs picking up the second half, War steps up the pace across the Latin-influenced jam "Nappy Head," the funky, bass-laden "Slipping Into the Darkness," and the all-out electric blues jam that rips through the prototype "Baby Brother." The latter was recorded live on June 30, 1971, at California's Hollywood Bowl and would, in revised and seriously edited form, be reborn as the monster "Me and Baby Brother" on War's Deliver the Word opus. Not nearly as fiery (with the exception of "Baby Brother," of course) as either their live performances or later albums, All Day Music is still one of this band's best-ever efforts. At times mellow enough to border on horizontal, the songs are filled with such texture and such rich intent that even in the band's quietest breath there is a funky resonance that fulfills Lee Oskar's vision fully.

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