Leroy Hutson

Love Oh Love

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After working as a writer and producer for such soul music stalwarts as Donny Hathaway and a stint replacing Curtis Mayfield as the lead vocalist in the Impressions, Leroy Hutson embarked on a solo career with 1973's Love Oh Love. The album combines the kind of smooth soul music that Hutson performed with the Impressions with more ambitious and conceptual outings in the vein of Marvin Gaye and Stevie Wonder. When Hutson sticks to love songs, Love Oh Love is magical: "So in Love With You" combines a honey-sweet romantic vocal from Hutson with a spine-tingling string arrangement to create an elegant and heartfelt ballad, while the title track raises its tale of lost love to an up-tempo level with jazzy horns and a percolating rhythm arrangement. "As Long as There's Love Around" is another effective romantic track that layers Hutson's velvety vocals over a complex instrumental track that combines gentle strings and brash horns with an insistently grooving bassline. The progressive-minded tracks are less satisfying: "Time Brings on a Change" is a political commentary song whose use of a Martin Luther King sample is a little too gimmicky for its own good, and "Getting It On" is a funk instrumental that fails to work any memorable hooks into its pleasant groove. Despite these problems, nothing on the album is less than listenable and everything flows together nicely to create a cohesive (if somewhat short) album. In short, Love Oh Love is one of the most consistent albums in the Leroy Hutson catalog and a good introduction to his silky soul style.

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