Celi Bee & The Buzzy Bunch

For the Love of My Man

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A nicely configured collection of the Miami-based singer's 1970s recordings for APA/TK, this release from Hot Productions chronicles the music chronologically, for the most part -- beginning with four tracks from 1977's Celi Bee & the Buzzy Bunch and continuing with entries from 1978's Alternating Currents, Fly Me on the Wings of Love, and 1979's Blow My Mind. What's most notable here is the consistency: lushly orchestrated disco romps, mid-tempo ditties, and savory ballads all converge in a mood that is both sublime and groovy. Celi Bee (aka Celinas Soto) has an understated, albeit spicy, vocal delivery that is engaging in each of the settings. Standouts are the disco smash "Superman"; the highly energetic "Macho (A Real, Real One)," which is not the singer's strongest tune melodically, but rhythmically very distinct from the core of her material; the sobering and romantic "It's Love"; and the contagious "Boomerang," penned by the singer. What's missing is any of the handful of singles Celi Bee recorded in the '80s for labels such as Paris International, Top Hits, and AME. Tunes from that era such as "I Can't Let Go" (not to be confused with "Can't Let You Go," included here) and "Don't You Leave Me Now" are just as, if not more, solid than the bulk of material here, and would've rounded out For the Love of My Man a bit more. Still, the CD is a worthy investment for fans or those simply eager to hear more than "Superman."

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