Dexter Wansel

What the World Is Coming To

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Dexter Wansel's second album, What the World Is Coming To, found the Philadelphia-based producer/keyboardist/vocalist temporarily ditching the sci-fi imagery that his debut album, Life on Mars, was known for. But other than that, What the World Is Coming To isn't a radical departure from its predecessor. Like Life on Mars, this 1977 LP is a diverse outing that was recorded at Philly's famous Sigma Sound Studios and ranges from mellow quiet storm material ("Holdin' On," "Dreams of Tomorrow") and sleek disco-funk ("Dance With Me Tonight") to instrumental pop-jazz ("First Light of the Morning," "Ode Infinitum," and the title track). The only tune on this album that is unlike anything on Life on Mars is "Going Back to Kingston Town," a reggae number with a strong Bob Marley influence. Except for Wansel's unexpected detour into reggae, this album isn't quite as strong as its predecessor -- creatively, Wansel experiences a bit of a sophomore slump. But while What the World Is Coming To isn't a masterpiece and isn't the Philadelphian's most essential album, it is a decent record that his die-hard fans will enjoy.

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