C.M. Lord

Flashback

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Originally a self-titled set released on Montage in late 1981, Hot Productions reissued soulful siren C.M. Lord's sophomore effort in 1994 under the title of her only commercially successful single, "Flashback." The sounds are varied, covering territory from the jubilant, '60s-inspired soul number "I'm Happy That Love Has Found You" through the wickedly catchy, electro-dance elements of "Flashback" to the seductive slow-jam "Fly by Night." Lord has a robust set of pipes that do justice to each number, even breathing necessary life into the set's compositionally weaker moments ("Can't Wait" and "Delicious"). With writing credits on all but one track, as well as production, engineering, and mixing duties throughout, her efforts are all the more impressive for a genre and time period where it was pretty rare for a female artist to have so much input. Though the material here is a world away from the folky soul on her 1976 Capitol debut, it's every bit as good -- and often less formulaic -- than concurrent efforts by chart-topping peers Evelyn "Champagne" King, Carl Carlton, and Shalamar. But justice didn't prevail, and C.M. Lord's commercial success was thin, making the limited-CD reissue an even worthier investment for any fans of authentic R&B with a great groove.

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