One Way

Love Is...One Way

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Abbreviating their name from the earlier One Way Featuring Al Hudson just in time for the 1980s, One Way emerged in 1981 with the grossly overlooked and underrated Love Is...One Way LP. Continuing to focus on the smooth vocal harmonies and sweet soul rhythms that had long been their forte, the Detroit group brought the album into the Top 20 in March, their highest spot. With most of the set laying in a cocoon of mid- and slow-tempo urban soul, Love Is...One Way meanders from the sleepy and sweet title track to the more emotive "My Lady," which captures an easy, breezy style reminiscent of the Chi-Lites. The latter was rewarded with moderate chart success, while the lighthearted dance groove "Push" shot to number 12 R&B. Elsewhere, "I Didn't Mean to Break Your Heart" finds the band sampling some funk ethics, only to swing 'round a little later on with some classic blues guitar picking and bass thumping on "Wait Until Tomorrow." It's an eclectic, if at times somewhat too smooth, brew, but One Way is so obviously enthralled with their sonic journey that it's hard to criticize. Oddly, despite such cool grooves and their consistent presence in the R&B chart for over a decade, One Way remained inexplicably on the fringes, a fate that is ultimately to the benefit of the soul aficionado, as the band is transformed into a precious, secret jewel, a nifty little nugget for those in the know.

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