Guilty of Loving You

Oscar Toney, Jr.

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Guilty of Loving You Review

by Richie Unterberger

Recorded in 2000, Guilty of Loving You pretty much picks up where Oscar Toney, Jr. left off in his 1960s and '70s recordings. It's upbeat Southern soul, with a few slower, pained ballads (notably the title track, with the churchy keyboards so common to those sort of Southern soul pieces) varying the pace. Toney, Jr.'s voice -- at times slightly reminiscent of Otis Redding's, though with a less gritty flavor -- has only slightly coarsened with time. For a soul album that tries to capture a style that peaked several decades before it was produced, it's considerably above the average: it has a live, unforced, natural sound, and the modern instrumental and production touches that often dampen the spirits of such veteran outings are virtually absent. The material's only adequate, however, and sometimes a little worse than that. It was reissued in the U.K. in 2006 as Guilty: A Southern Soul Renaissance, adding historical liner notes with an overview of Toney Jr.'s career.

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