Sly, Slick & Wicked

Confessin' a Feeling

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Harmony lovers will love this throwback by Sly, Slick & Wicked (SSW), despite some flaws, it's as refreshing as a cold citrus drink on a hot humid day. This is a different group than the SSW who recorded for Ju-Par & People Records. This SSW formed in Los Angeles, CA, Thomas Hawkins a.k.a. Sonny Daye handles most of the leads, backed by Larry Lewis, and Donny Everheart. Eddy Stovall & Freddie D. Holiday supplies additional vocals in the studio.

They debuted in the sixties and released "Confessin' A Feeling" in 1972, it did well in the Southwest, especially among Chicanos. The updated live version captures them serenading the ladies. Overall, the productions lack the tightness and intensity of the originals, and SSW often flubbed lyrics. But Charles Crews (producer) always manages to captures the essence of these arresting ballads, keeping the orchestration sparse, and never allowing anything to overshadow the vocals.

The tempo on "Ain't No Big Thing" is faster than the original, and SSW can't compete with the Radiants' crisp, gospel inspired harmonies, but it will do until someone releases a CD by the Radiants. "That Day When She Needed Me," originally done by the Contours, lacks Motown's touch, but SSW does justice to the slinky, doo wop ballad. Credits list Hunter/ Stevenson, but Smokey Robinson actually composed the song.

They excel on "Strange Feeling," a minor hit for Billy Stewart, the Persuaders' "Thin Line Between Love and Hate," the Masqueraders' "I Ain't Got To Love Nobody Else," and delivers a silky rendition of Lost Generation's "Sly, Slick & Wicked." The pluses far outweigh the minus, on Confessing a Feeling.

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