C .C; In the Moment (CDC)


C.C. (Cornell Carter) is a top session singer working in and around San Francisco. His CV boasts work with people like Ray Charles, James Brown, The Whispers, The Temptations, the late Natalie Cole, Kool and the Gang and Narada Michael Walden. Indeed Cornell supplied bvs on Narada’s recent, acclaimed album ‘Evolution’ (see our reviews and interviews archive for more on this) and the garlanded singer/producer returns the compliment on one of the stand out cuts on this, CC’s third solo album – a memory jerking version of the Delfonics’ ‘La La Means I Love You’. It’s a respectful cover (why tamper with a thing of beauty?) and CC offers a falsetto every bit as good as William Hart’s.

Mr Carter clearly has a penchant for the Philly-style ballad ‘cos amongst the original songs there’s a trio of tracks with their roots in that particular style. ‘Lady Of My Dreams’ offers some lovely harmonies; ‘2 Late’ is a great Quiet Storm moment; and ‘Show Me’ owes much to the Thom Bell production school.

‘In The Moment’ also offers plenty for the dance floor. The one with the most potential for the modern soul crowd is ‘My Folks’ . This one has some, great, tight beats but because it’s aimed at the Steppers Scene, CC feels obliged to offer instructions and exhortations. The other big up-tempo moments include the jaunty, opener ‘Beautiful’ and the faux party atmosphere-fuelled ‘Sunshine’.

Elsewhere ‘The Show’ is a short, semi-spoken piece that’s more of a sketch than a song while ‘Where Do We Go’ is a like an outtake from a smooth jazz album. Then there’s the album’s lead single – ‘Bobblehead’. This is a real oddity given the subtle soundscape of much of the album; ‘Bobblehead’, you see, is a crunchy slab of electro-funk . Of its kind I guess it’s OK and it’s probably great live; it just sounds a little dated.

That leaves the album’s closing cut – a cover of the Commodores’ ‘Zoom’. It clocks in at just over seven and a half minutes and though it’s sub-tilted ‘The Steppers’ Mix’ it’s not that much different to the original. CC even manages a convincing Lionel impression.

Find out more about this never-less-than-interesting long player @ www.cc2000music.com

(BB) 3/5