Lou Rawls' 1982 album Now Is the Time finds him switching to Epic Records after a six-year stint with Philadelphia International, though he remains under the overall corporate umbrella of major label CBS Records. At writer/producers Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff's Philadelphia International, he scored a major comeback early on with the R&B chart-topping, platinum-selling All Things in Time, but more recent efforts found his sales tailing off. It would be hard to foresee a similar resurgence with Now Is the Time, though it begins with the current R&B singles chart entry "Will You Kiss Me One More Time." Rawls himself is in typically good voice, singing in his rich, grainy baritone of romantic love. But the material does not rank among the best he has been offered. The nine tracks include a combination of ballads and disco-tinged rhythm tunes with lush string arrangements sweetening the percussive underpinning of the music. It's just that there's nothing really memorable here, and Rawls would need a standout song to jump-start his career once again. Rawls fans will enjoy Now Is the Time, but it is unlikely to appeal beyond them.
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