Monk Higgins

Monk Higgins in MacArthur Park

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Monk Higgins' debut solo LP evokes fellow Chicago arranger extraordinaire Charles Stepney in its lush orchestral soul splendor. Bookended by Jimmy Webb covers ("By the Time I Get to Phoenix" and the title cut) and touching on influences from Ray Charles ("I Believe to My Soul") to the Association ("Cherish"), Monk Higgins in MacArthur Park is a bold, sweeping statement that captures the gritty edge of R&B and the syrupy sweetness of pop, often within the same song. The funk sensibilities that would dominate Higgins' subsequent efforts may be missing, but the rhythms are tight and the drums pound like sledgehammers.

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