Boz Scaggs

My Time

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On his fourth album My Time, Boz Scaggs' pop side truly begins to surface in earnest -- or, rather, he begins to channel his smooth soul into a pop package, pushing the funky workouts that dominated the previous Boz & Band toward the background and putting emphasis directly on the song. There's still a bit of grit here -- "Full-Lock Power Slide" charges forward on blaring guitars and organs -- but Scaggs takes a cue from "Hello My Lover" and "Freedom for the Stallion," the Allen Toussaint tunes he covers here, and gives this an easy, relaxed feel, one that's classy and seductive without being gauche. This is elegant, soulful music, with Scaggs effortlessly hitting his marks on both the strutting "Hello My Lover" and his original heartbreak ballad "Might Have to Cry." One of the best things about My Time is how his impeccably chosen covers fit seamlessly with his originals, to the point that it's hard to tell that "Old Time Lovin'" is an Al Green tune, which also points out Scaggs growth as a songwriter. And not only are his songs getting better, they're getting more distinctive and, in retrospect, the cheerful "We're Gonna Roll," and especially the opening "Dinah Flo," point the way toward Silk Degrees.

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