Tower of Power

T.O.P.

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This 1993 effort marked a strong comeback for the group, who started with 1991's Monster on a Leash. T.O.P. continues the formula with great results. The reason for the revitalization can be directly attributed to the energetic, Stevie Wonder-influenced lead singer, Tom Bowes. The hard-driving, James Brown-derived funk of "Soul With a Capital S" and "I Like Your Style" update the band's classic horn-driven sound and is augmented by not only Bowes but Francis "Rocco" Prestia's amazing and soulful bass work. The ballads -- like "Quiet Scream," "Please Come Back to Stay," and arguably the best, "Come to a Decision" -- underscore the fact that this version of Tower of Power was the first in years that was equally adept with slower songs and up-tempo offerings. T.O.P. also has other members doing lead vocal chores. Group co-founder Emilio Castillo leads on the hammy and fun "Come on With It" and guitarist Carmen Grillo assumes lead on the melodic and smooth "You." Former member, saxophonist Lenny "L.P." Pickett, shows up for five tracks. Produced by Castillo, T.O.P. not only made an album to stand with Monster on a Leash, but also other classics like Urban Renewal and Ain't Nothing Stopping Us Now.

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