Vernon Burch

When I Get Back Home

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Vernon Burch was only 21 when, in 1977, he moved from United Artists to Columbia for his second solo album, When I Get Back Home. Creatively, there were no signs of a sophomore slump on this LP; in fact, When I Get Back Home is the singer/guitarist's strongest, most consistent album. Burch's writing and co-writing are impressive throughout the LP, and that is true on gritty funk items like "Ghetto Penthouse" and the single "Sexasonic," as well as more laid-back offerings such as "Mr. Sin," "Bye, Bye, Baby," and "Paradise." The Washington, D.C., native brings a healthy appreciation of Stevie Wonder to all of the material, but he never sounds like he's actually trying to emulate Wonder -- Burch is his own person and has a recognizable style of his own. Unfortunately, creative success doesn't necessarily mean commercial success, and When I Get Back Home wasn't the big hit it should have been. Even though Burch had a gem of a single in "Sexasonic," this LP fell through the cracks. But that doesn't erase the fact that When I Get Back Home is Burch's most essential album.

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