Various Artists

More Saturday Night Soul

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This follow-up to Metro's Saturday Night Soul is another loose-to-the-point-of-vague concept CD, the concept being soul suitable for Saturday night. Fine, though really the 16 tracks gathered here aren't all that much more geared toward Saturday night moods than most good-time soul. (It could be said, in fact, that Brother to Brother's cover of Gil Scott-Heron's "In the Bottle" is more like a soundtrack to a Saturday night in hell than a Saturday night party.) It's really just a flimsy thread on which to hang a compilation of '70s and '80s soul, funk, and disco that's not too well known or widely exposed, with the obvious exception of Shirley & Co.'s big 1974 hit "Shame, Shame, Shame." As such anthologies go, it's average at best (and not as good as Saturday Night Soul, if you want to use that standard), mixing lesser-known cuts by some hitmakers (Freda Payne, the Fatback Band, 100 Proof [Aged in Soul], Sylvia) with others by names known primarily to aficionados. Most of these are respectable but nonsensational upbeat performances, leaning heavily on the Invictus catalog, which supplies some of the highlights, like Laura Lee's "Crumbs off the Table." Dave "Baby" Cortez, known almost exclusively for his organ-powered late-'50s/early-'60s rock & roll instrumental hits, makes an unexpected appearance with an ultra-suggestive 1972 vocal number, "Tongue Kissing." It says something about the unremarkable nature of this anthology, however, that this by-no-means masterpiece is one of the highlights of the disc.

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