Your Wish Is My Command

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Kool & the Gang may have labeled themselves as the original genies of funk on Open Sesame, but Lakeside did a fine job of wresting away that crown across 1981's Your Wish Is My Command. Their third album to reach the R&B Top Ten, Your Wish Is My Command found Lakeside in fine fettle, returning to a stronger form after the relative disappointment of Keep On Moving Straight Ahead. And, although this set was packed with soft grooves that belied the heaviest funk of their early material, Lakeside nevertheless kept a smooth flow. Portrayed on the cover as be-turbaned genies with magic glitter, Lakeside triumphed immediately with the title track. A delirious blend of beat and bass, "Your Wish Is My Command not only conjured up vivid visuals, it was perfect for the dancefloor -- and not only because there is just a ghost of their "Fantastic Voyage" hovering in the background. Elsewhere, both "Magic Moments" and "The Urban Man" re-create that same vibe, with the latter adding a fierce guitar solo to the bridge. "There's Something About That Woman," meanwhile, emerged the freshest flower of the bunch, and Lakeside was rewarded with a Top 30 hit. Oddly, the only other song on Your Wish Is My Command to enter the chart was a ballad -- a style one didn't usually turn to Lakeside for. Their soulful rendering of the Beatles' "I Want to Hold Your Hand" reached number five early in 1982, and while it seemed an odd choice of cover, the band rose wonderfully to the occasion. Predictable and uneven in places, there are still some fine moments on Your Wish Is My Command. And, although it cannot touch the best of Lakeside's mid-'70s output, there is still room to groove.

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