PRESTON GLASS: Music As Medicine (Label: Expansion)

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PRESTON GLASS: Music As Medicine

Preston Glass is a music producer. He’s worked with people like EWF, Aretha, the Temptations and George Benson – as well as Kenny G and Johnny Mathis, and sadly too many of the MOR influences associated with the last pair infect this 16 tracker. I say “sadly” ‘cos Glass’ credentials are such that he can call on lots of big names to help him put together his music but he seems to waste what they can offer. Soul-wise, there’s no bigger name here than Ali Woodson. The big-voiced ex Temptation is a huge favourite in the UK, but here Glass saddles him with a pair of poor songs. ‘Blackberry’ begins well enough and Ali’s in typical forceful form – but then the song morphs into Rod Stewart’s ‘Do Ya Think I’m Sexy’ and all is lost. There there’s ‘Without The Music’. This one’s an overblown, trite ballad of the Dianne Warren-type and though Ali gives it his all (along with duettist Punkin), he deserves better. Both of those cuts sound very old-fashioned; indeed the whole LP could have been recorded in the 80s. The almost funky ‘Feel No Pain’ (featuring Keni Jackson) best exemplifies the sound. Best cuts? Well the Wilton Felder-led ‘Good For Me’ mines a steady groove, but, again could’ve come from an album like ‘Rhapsody And Blues’, while ‘Everybody Let’s Dance’ (featuring Lyndon Carter) might please the undemanding steppers. Worst cut? Easy… the cod-Caribbean romp that is ‘Burn It’ is pretty dire and possibly the worst track to grace any Expansion album. Indeed there’s more than one cut here out of kilter with what we’ve come to expect from Expansion.
(BB) 2/5