The Love Doctor

Doctor of Love

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There's bad bad, and then there's just sad bad, and Doctor of Love unfortunately falls into the latter category. The son of a Memphis sharecropper, Lewis Clark had been a gospel-blues radio DJ for 20 years before embarking on a blues career of his own in 1997 under the stage name the Blues Doctor. And he was 51 years old by the time he adopted a new name, the Love Doctor, and a new style, R&B, in hopes of escaping the stigma blues had developed with radio programmers. Nearly every single thing about this album borders on laughable, from the cliché-ridden grooves and outdated production style to the sound itself, which recalls past-their-prime artists like Clarence Carter and Marvin Sease. It's hard not to make fun of ridiculously sappy love songs like "Soaking Wet Pillow" and the title track, or well-intentioned "message" songs like "Somebody's Child." You can only hope that when this album inevitably fails to gain airplay, Clark will return to the blues, radio programmers be damned.

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